Officer-involved Shooting by Santa Paula Police Officer Justified After an Investigation by the Ventura County D.A.’s Office

VENTURA, California – District Attorney Gregory D. Totten announced today the issuance of a public report detailing the Office’s independent review of the circumstances surrounding the April 9, 2017, shooting of Jose Romero Gonzalez-Rendon by Santa Paula Senior Police Officer Matt Alonzo. 

The report explains in detail that in the early morning hours of April 9, 2017, Gonzalez-Rendon first engaged in a conflict with his roommates then left his apartment after arming himself with at least one large kitchen knife. Then, an anonymous female called 911 twice to report that a Hispanic male rushed at her car as they were leaving for work and reported the location near an apartment complex in Santa Paula. She told 911 that she was “really scared.” As police arrived minutes later, Senior Officer Matt Alonzo made visual contact with Gonzalez-Rendon, who was in a driveway north of East Ventura Street. As Senior Officer Alonzo exited his patrol car, Gonzalez-Rendon started running directly at him with the knife held upward and pointed at Alonzo. Senior Alonzo drew and pointed his service weapon at Gonzalez-Rendon as he directed him to drop the knife. Yet, Gonzalez-Rendon continued to run directly at Senior Officer Alonzo, who fired six shots when Gonzalez-Rendon was approximately 15-20 feet away. Gonzalez-Rendon was pronounced dead at the scene by responding paramedics.     

The full report, authored by Deputy District Attorney Kelly Keenan, is available on the Ventura County District Attorney’s Web site ( and explains the District Attorney’s conclusions that Senior Officer Alonzo acted reasonably. While the events which unfolded on April 9, 2017, were tragic, the unfortunate killing of Jose Romero Gonzalez-Rendon was a justifiable homicide.


The Ventura County District Attorney’s Office is the public prosecutor for the county’s 850,000 residents. The office employs approximately 280 employees including attorneys, investigators, victim advocates, and other professional support staff who strive to seek justice, ensure public safety, and protect the rights of crime victims.

Follow the Ventura County District Attorney’s Office on Twitter @VenturaDAOffice

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