The Sheriff’s Office says the man killed by a CHP officer on Highway 99 in Bakersfield stabbed himself before crashing his car on a frontage road and running back onto the freeway.

Sheriff’s Commander Adam Plugge says the officer tried to help Felipe Perez after the crash August 24th on Saco Road, but the suspect had climbed a fence and started walking in the northbound lanes of Highway 99, where he was almost hit by a few vehicles. Plugge says the officer got out of his patrol vehicle when he saw Perez’s knife and ordered the suspect to get down, but Perez charged him and the officer fired.

Perez then jumped over the center divider and tried to break into cars in the southbound lanes. He approached the officer again in an aggressive manner with his knife, and that’s when the officer fired again, killing him near Merle Haggard Drive.

The Sheriff’s Office says they’re still looking for witnesses because the investigation is ongoing.

Kelli Pierce