Man shot and killed by Ventura police fired first, authorities say

Ventura police gather at the site of an officer-involved shooting.
A Ventura police officer fatally shot a man after a vehicle pursuit that began in Oxnard, where the man was a suspect in an assault.

A man fatally shot by Ventura police last week at the end of a car pursuit fired a handgun at officers before being killed, officials said.

Ventura police did not initially disclose what led to Thursday night’s shooting of Javier Magana, 32, of Thousand Oaks, other than to say he was a suspect in a shooting in Oxnard.

On Monday evening, the department said that a preliminary investigation concluded that Magana was armed with a handgun and pointed the weapon at officers.


“The suspect had a handgun in his hand, and within seconds, fired the weapon and pointed the handgun at the officer. The officer fired his handgun, striking the suspect twice,” the department said in a statement.

The fatal encounter Thursday evening began as Oxnard police pursued an armed suspect who authorities said was involved in a shooting in the city. Oxnard officers radioed for assistance from Ventura police, and that department took over the pursuit about 7:30 p.m., Ventura Police Cmdr. Sarah Starr said.

Ventura police said, based on interviews with witnesses and video and physical evidence, they found that Magana’s vehicle struck a fence along the north side of Harbor Boulevard before he got out of the car and ran from officers, who chased him on foot.

Ventura authorities said it was during that brief foot pursuit when Magana pointed his gun at police and fired the weapon. Police returned fire, killing him. A preliminary coroner’s investigation said Magana died from a gunshot wound to the chest.