No charges for Guadalupe officer who shot and killed bystander

January 4, 2023

Juan Luis Olvera Preciado (left), the bystander shot and killed in Guadalupe


Prosecutors elected not to charge the Guadalupe police officer who shot and killed a bystander in 2020, the California Department of Justice announced on Tuesday.

On the night of Aug. 21, 2021, Guadalupe officers recognized a man at the intersection of Birch and Obispo streets as a gang member with an outstanding no-bail felony arrest warrant. Officer Miguel Jaimes fired at the wanted suspect, but instead hit 59-year-old Juan Luis Olvera-Preciado, who was sitting in his car in front of his home. Medical responders pronounced Olvera-Preciado dead at the scene.

Jaimes fired three rounds at the suspect, whom he incorrectly believed was armed, missing each time, according to a report released by the state DOJ.

One bullet ricocheted off the ground, traveled 174 feet, entered a slightly ajar car door and fatally wounded Olvera-Preciado, according to the DOJ report. At the time of the shooting, Olvera-Preciado was planning to go out to dinner with his wife, who had not yet stepped into the car.

Guadalupe police shoot and kill bystander

The bullet struck Olvera-Preciado’s face and then lodged in the right temporal lobe of his brain.

DOJ investigators determined, because of a lack of lighting, Jaimes could not see Olvera-Preciado setting in the car.

During the standoff, the suspect pulled a butane torch out of his pocket that officers likely mistook for a gun, DOJ investigators determined.

The wanted man “was a suspect in a fire, he attempted to evade the officers, he failed to comply with commands to show his hands and ultimately ‘punched out’ his arm, possibly holding the torch, which was shaped like a firearm,” according to the report. “These facts would support a reasonable though mistaken belief that (the suspect) posed an imminent threat of great bodily injury or death.”

Jaimes wore a body camera during the incident, but he failed to activate it.

The Department of Justice concluded Jaimes is not criminally liable for Olvera-Preciado’s death, but the DOJ is recommending changes to the Guadalupe Police Department’s policies and practices, including those related to de-escalation tactics, body cameras and handling of officer-involved shootings.

Last year, Olvera-Preciado’s family filed a wrongful death lawsuit in federal court, alleging the shooting was careless, senseless and unjustified. The actions of Jaimes, coupled with the lack of training by the Guadalupe Police Department, resulted in the fatal shooting, according to the suit.

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So, this is what passes for justice in Guadalupe? A man is dead through no fault of his own, and no one is to blame. Hardly an accident unless the gun went off three times by itself unintentionally. Suicide by cop is not very likely. What’s left? Homicide, and hardly justifiable.

I had not intended this to be so long, but I am furious over the lack of justice in this case. IMO the City of Guadalupe (and their insurance company) do not have enough money to provide justice to Mr. Preciado’s family. Hopefully they lose their insurance over this.

One Officer Brandon Ramos of the Denver Police Department was recently indicted for 2 counts of felony assault and other misdemeanors for shooting (but not killing) bystanders during an unjustified shooting (see link). In the Denver case, the shooting might even be slightly more justifiable since the target was, in fact, armed, but was not facing or pointing the gun at Ramos. Sounds like there is a whisper of justice in Denver where indictments come from people, not law enforcement. That’s not the way it is here, but maybe it should be.

I agree with MrYan. It sounds like this cop was too far away to be shooting or is just a pi…tifully poor shot. If properly trained, he would or should know how far his weapon is accurate, and if close enough, should also know if he can hit what he is shooting at. And his body camera was not on! Since cop’s statements rarely agree with video, we can’t even trust what the cop says as being the truth. Why, oh why do cops have the ability to turn off (or mute) their body cameras?

I wonder just how important it was to capture this “presumed innocent” perp over a felony warrant? Worth the life of an innocent? Why not just let him run away and get him later. Doesn’t sound like he was going far with just a propane torch.

Justice is far too important to be left to law enforcement (cops, prosecutors, and judges). It should be left to juries. However, courts will never allow this to get to a jury when it comes to law enforcement because of a legal concept known as “qualified immunity” which they dreamed up all by themselves to protect their own.

So the department is negligent in its training of Jaimes? But Jaimes is not? I am bewildered. Prayers for the Family of Juan Preciado. I can’t imagine what his wife must be going through. Can you imagine, going outside to meet your husband to go out for dinner, and finding him dead? There needs to be justice for this family!!

3 missed shots. If you can’t hit your target with a hand gun you are most likely too far away to be pulling the trigger to begin with. Or you are such a piss poor shot that you shouldn’t be authorized to carry a gun in the first place.

Careful, Yan! The second amendment provides the right to keep and bear arms, there is absolutely no need to be “authorized to carry a gun” and there are certainly no markmenship requirements to do so. I’d imagine the average random citizen with a gun would do much better than this trained officer, so lets get some more randoms out there with guns so we can hurry up and make society safer.

FBI, CDC, and DOJ stats all show that the average citizen gun owner, is indeed a better shot on bad guys, than law enforcement.

Oh, BTW, the 2ndA does not “provide” any rights. It establishes that the government cannot infringe upon our natural rights of defense of self, family, others, or country.

Interesting… Anyone else read about the highway patrol officer being charged with manslaughter and negligence because he crashed into another vehicle while pursuing a suspect fleeing? How can these two cases co-exist?

Different situation/set of circumstances.

Countdown begins until the lawsuit is filed…..10,9,8,7……