MODESTO — A family is in mourning and looking for answers after they say 27-year-old Nicholas Pimentel was shot and killed by police following a pursuit in south Modesto on Sunday morning.
Oscar Suazo woke up to a text early Sunday morning that he never wanted to see.
“Started making phone calls and it was just devastating to hear,” Suazo said.
He soon found out his 27-year-old nephew Nicholas Pimentel, the father of a 7-year-old boy, was dead.
“We’re still in shock, we don’t know all the facts of what happened, we are hearing rumors, bits and pieces. So we are just trying to gather everything together, find out what occurred, why this had to happen,” Suazo said.
The Stanislaus County Sheriff’s office is still gathering facts as well.
According to investigators, two Ceres police officers were trying to stop a car at 1:08 Sunday morning — the driver didn’t stop and two minutes later, the officers fired shots at the car.
It happened on Imperial Avenue and Ustick Road.
Detectives have not identified the driver, but Suazo confirms it’s his nephew.
“They could have tasered him, they could have done a number of other options, they could have chosen besides this. Now the whole family is devastated,” Suazo said.
The family says Pimentel’s girlfriend was also in the car at the time of the shooting, but was not hurt.
They say the girlfriend told them the officers used a pit maneuver to turn the car before shots were fired.
She admitted to the family Pimentel was driving drunk and had bumped cars and refused stop for police.
“Obviously drunk driving is wrong but people don’t get killed for drunk driving. Something else could have happened. That’s the way I feel,” Suazo said.