Former Oakdale Police Chief Fatally Shot by Fresno Officer

OAKDALE -- A shocked Oakdale community is reeling from the news their former police chief was killed by a Fresno police officer Monday.

In pictures and in memories Marty West was the hands-on, friendly, supportive police chief who helped make Oakdale safer.

"He was very responsive to the neighborhood watch groups and I think that's what made him so popular with the citizens," said former Oakdale Police Community Service Officer Mike Hancock.

Hancock and Lloyd Kjos were friends with West. They told FOX40 they were saddened to hear how he was killed.

"Just so shocked, you know, they just can't believe that it could happen to him," Hancock said.

Investigators say West had threatened to kill himself at his Fresno home Monday. When officers arrived they say the former Fresno police captain charged at them with a knife.

He was fatally shot by a training officer.

West's wife told officers her husband had been suffering from mental health issues.

"There were no signs of it. There were no signs of anything like that," Kjos told FOX40.

Friends say the former police chief handled challenges well.

"If there was a problem, he wasn't even out the door and he was on his phone trying to find out how to resolve it," Kjos recalled.

Kjos and Hancock say West helped the city become safer.

When he first joined the police department in 2006, there were only a few neighborhood watch groups. Now, there are dozens.

"He came to the neighborhood watch meetings because he was really interested in hearing what was going on and responding to people's issues," Hancock said.

West's friends said it didn't matter if he was on or off the clock, he was a dedicated police officer through and through.

Kjos says the former top cop was dependable. He explained West helped his family when his grandson was injured in a drive-by shooting in Fresno two years ago.

More than a police chief, he was a friend.

"On his off time, whatever it was, he investigated it," Kjos said. "He came back with an answer so we were grateful for that."

The Oakdale Police Department did not provide any comment and referred FOX40's questions to the Fresno Police Department.