The San Bernardino County District Attorney’s Office has completed its review of the officer-involved shooting which occurred on July 14, 2018. This incident happened in the city of Bloomington and involved the Rialto Police Department. The shooting was investigated by the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department.


On Friday, July 13, 2018, Rialto Police Officer Jarrod Zirkle was in uniform and driving a marked Rialto Police Department patrol vehicle. Accompanying Officer Zirkle was his K-9, Boda.

At about 11:50 pm that evening, Officer Zirkle traveled east on Valley Boulevard, approaching Pepper Avenue in Rialto. In front of Officer Zirkle’s patrol car was a black Nissan. Officer Zirkle completed a records check of the Nissan’s license plate number. Officer Zirkle learned the Nissan’s registration expired in 2017, which is a violation of California Vehicle Code Section 4000(a). Officer Zirkle attempted to stop the Nissan for the violation; however, the driver of the Nissan, Erick Aguirre (Age 28 of Bloomington), drove away from Officer Zirkle and would not stop his vehicle.

Although Officer Zirkle had activated his forward red emergency light and siren, Aguirre sped away from Officer Zirkle at a high rate of speed and traveled west onto the I-10 Freeway. Mr. Aguirre turned off all the vehicle’s exterior lights (headlights, amber running lights, and red taillights), essentially “blacking out” the Nissan.

Officer Zirkle followed Mr. Aguirre as he traveled more than 100 miles-per-hour (mph) on the freeway, cutting across several lanes of traffic. Mr. Aguirre eventually exited the freeway, ran a red light, and continued to drive at speeds between 70 to 90 mph.

Officer Matthew Lopez heard Officer Zirkle’s radio transmissions about the pursuit. Officer Lopez waited in the area of Cedar Avenue. Officer Lopez joined the pursuit when it reached his location.

Mr. Aguirre drove through a neighborhood and into a dirt field. It appeared Mr. Aguirre’s vehicle had stalled and came to a stop.

Officer Zirkle stopped his police car behind the Nissan. He exited his car and gave commands to the occupants to exit the Nissan. Officer Lopez stopped his police car next to the passenger side of Officer Zirkle’s car. Officer Zirkle told Officer Lopez to “get a gun on the car.”

The passenger door opened, and a female passenger (Witness #2) exited the Nissan. She was ordered to lay on the ground, which she did.

Officer Zirkle told Officer Lopez to keep his gun pointed at the vehicle, as Officer Zirkle’s attention focused on using his dog, “Boda,” to approach the Nissan safely.

Due to the Nissan having tinted windows, it was difficult for the officers to see who or what was inside the Nissan. Officer Zirkle attempted to open the passenger door, but the door was locked.

Officer Zirkle requested Officer Lopez to break the passenger window to allow Boda to crawl through the window and search the Nissan. Officer Lopez re-holstered his firearm and used his baton to break the passenger window.

Officer Zirkle gave commands to Mr. Aguirre for him to get out of the vehicle with his hands up as well as warned him he would get bit.

Mr. Aguirre responded that he had a gun, and he began to reach down. Officer Zirkle saw Mr. Aguirre point a shotgun straight at him. Officer Zirkle pushed Boda away and fired his handgun three or four times. Officer Zirkle’s handgun malfunctioned, and Officer Zirkle backed away from the Nissan.

Officer Lopez did not shoot when Officer Zirkle had shot initially because his view into the vehicle was hindered due to the tinted windows.

Officer Zirkle yelled to Officer Lopez to shoot Mr. Aguirre. Officer Zirkle believed Mr. Aguirre was still a threat. Officer Lopez approached the Nissan and saw Mr. Aguirre’s hands were on the shotgun. The shotgun began to move upwards.

Officer Lopez fired two shots at Mr. Aguirre and backed up. Officer Lopez yelled for Mr. Aguirre to put his hands up and not touch the gun. Officer Lopez backed up further and fired a third shot at Mr. Aguirre.

Officer Lopez continued to give commands to Mr. Aguirre but noticed Mr. Aguirre was not moving.

Officers Zirkle and Lopez continued to keep their weapons pointed at the Nissan as they awaited for additional police officers to arrive on the scene. Once these officers arrived, the front driver’s door window was broken. The shotgun was removed from Mr. Aguirre’s lap.

Mr. Aguirre was pronounced deceased at the scene by a paramedic on July 14, 2018.


The San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department investigated this shooting. A review of the investigation, reports, evidence, and statements was completed by the San Bernardino County District Attorney’s Office.

Based on the facts presented in the reports and the applicable law, our office concluded Officer Jarrod Randall Zirkle and Officer Matthew Anthony Lopez’s use of lethal force was a proper exercise of their rights of self-defense and defense of others, and therefore their actions were legally justified.


By providing a thorough explanation to the community regarding the review of officer-involved shootings, it is the intention of District Attorney Jason Anderson and the San Bernardino County District Attorney’s Office to maintain the community’s confidence and trust in its law enforcement officers and district attorney’s office.

Key Points of This Incident

  • Mr. Aguirre was operating a vehicle with an expired registration, which is a violation of the vehicle code and a basis for a lawful traffic stop by a police officer.
  • Mr. Aguirre refused to stop his vehicle for a police officer, which is a violation of the California Vehicle Code.
  • Mr. Aguirre endangered the public by violating other vehicle code provisions by driving his vehicle during hours of darkness and without lighting, at high speeds, and without stopping for a traffic signal.
  • Mr. Aguirre had a firearm near him during and after the pursuit, which is also a violation of the California Penal Code.
  • Once Mr. Aguirre’s vehicle became inoperable, he refused to follow any of the lawful commands given to him by the police officers, in violation of the California Penal Code.
  • Mr. Aguirre pointed the firearm at the police officers, which is a violation of the California Penal Code.
  • Mr. Aguirre’s violent conduct was stopped when the police officers defended themselves by shooting Mr. Aguirre.

Police officers are trained for dangerous situations such as this one, and they continually update their training as new situations and techniques are identified.

Additionally, police officers have equipment on their belts, vests, and vehicles, which they use to complete their duties.

Police officers are expected and authorized to use the equipment to protect themselves and others from suffering injuries or death. To some, watching a police officer using physical force against another person can be upsetting or disturbing.

Police officers prefer to use the least amount of force, whether it be their mere presence or verbal commands, to diffuse situations. However, there are situations, such as this incident, in which lethal force is necessary for the community and police officers’ safety.

In rapidly tense situations, officers do not have a great deal of time planning, revising, or analyzing a situation, such as readers of this article. When a situation evolves, officers must make the best decisions possible to protect and save lives in a condensed amount of time.

The community expects that the people they call upon to protect them, which is the police, will not back down, be intimidated, or run scared when danger presents itself.

During the evening of July 13 and the early morning of July 14, 2018, Mr. Aguirre decided to drive a vehicle that had an expired registration.

When a police officer attempted to stop Mr. Aguirre lawfully, he chose to ignore the officer’s efforts. Mr. Aguirre decided to accelerate his vehicle and enter a freeway. Mr. Aguirre chose to endanger other people’s lives by traveling at high speed and crossing lanes of traffic recklessly.

Mr. Aguirre decided to continue to endanger the community by exiting the freeway and traveling through an intersection without stopping for a red traffic signal.

Mr. Aguirre decided to drive through a neighborhood at high speed and into a dirt field.

Mr. Aguirre decided to ignore the police officer’s commands by refusing to exit his vehicle or put his hands up. Mr. Aguirre chose to point a firearm at the police officers.

Only after the police officers protected their own lives and shot Mr. Aguirre was Mr. Aguirre’s dangerous actions stopped.

There is an extremely high probability this officer-involved-shooting would not have happened had the following occurred:

  • Mr. Aguirre was operating a vehicle that did not have expired registration.
  • Mr. Aguirre stopped his vehicle for the police officer, as required by law.
  • Mr. Aguirre did not endanger the community’s safety by driving recklessly.
  • Mr. Aguirre did not possess a firearm.
  • Mr. Aguirre had followed the commands of the police officers.
  • Mr. Aguirre did not point a firearm at the police officers.


The district attorney’s office has always reviewed officer-involved shootings in San Bernardino County.

Upon taking office, District Attorney Jason Anderson wanted a dedicated team of trained and experienced deputy district attorneys and investigators to review these shootings and respond to the scene of shootings.

The review unit did not respond to this shooting scene as the new team’s design, development, and protocols were still being developed.

Please visit to learn more about this team.

As the district attorney’s office, we realize the entire community is affected when force is used by the police, regardless of the situation or circumstances. Our responsibility is to ensure that all parties involved in cases such as the one involving Mr. Aguirre acted lawfully.



View San Bernardino County District Attorney’s Public Release Memorandum: Erick Aguirre