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Spencer Carmen Mendez, 15
Ceres, California
August 18, 2018

Last updated: 8 months ago

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15-year-old Spencer Carmen Mendez is dead after pulling out a gun at a park and leading police on a chase through Stanislaus County.

The pursuit ended in a rural area near the town of Hughson and Denair, and police confirmed that it was a Ceres police officer that fired the shots that killed Mendez. 

According to the Stanislaus County Sheriff’s Department, it was around 3 p.m.  Saturday afternoon in Ceres, when a man inside a car pulled out a gun near the skate area in Smyrna Park.

Someone called 911, but as police officers arrived at the park, they got another call that a black Lexus was involved in a hit and run at nearby Whitmore Avenue and Mitchell Road.

Police said an elderly woman was injured in the hit and run. She was transported to the hospital with non-life threatening injuries.

According to police, a witness to the crash followed the suspect’s car, giving police dispatch location updates along the way.

Police then located the Lexus and initiated a traffic stop, but the vehicle failed to yield and led the officer on a high-speed pursuit toward Hughson.

Police took over the chase and continued following the car for several miles into Hughson. It was at the intersection of Service and Sperry Roads that authorities say the suspect got out of the car with a handgun.

Officials said the lone Ceres police officer at the scene fired at Mendez, striking him at least once.

As additional officers arrived on the scene, they arrested the four remaining suspects still in the car without incident.

Authorities said medical treatment was provided to Mendez but he did not survive and was pronounced died on the scene.