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Charles Salinas

Charles Salinas

Editor’s Note: I received an email from Charlie Salinas’ sister, who wrote the following:

“My brother Charlie was gunned down like a dog by Sanger Police Department officers after he made a 911 call threatening to commit suicide. The 911 call stated he claimed to be armed but did not want anyone else to be hurt. He repeatedly stated he would not harm anyone but himself. The police surrounded him in an enclosed parking lot where he hid in some shrubbery. They claim he was acting out aggressively and had charged at them with what they thought was a weapon, so they employed a less than lethal beanbag, that they say was ineffective, so they had to shoot him. more than 30 times, even after he fell to the ground. Unknown to them at the time of the shooting a passerby was videoing on his cell phone and captured the shooting. all accounts from witnesses contradict the officers version of what happened. the video contradicts what the officers say my brother was doing. We spoke to the officer/detective who says he was lead investigator for the internal affairs department that investigates all OIS. That person lied to my sister and me. That person told us that my brother refused to obey orders to come out and get on the ground. That officers had attempted to counsel my brother to get him to surrender. That my brother kept making odd hand movements that made the officers think he had a weapon. That in his opinion, this had been a justified shoot. None of that is true. According to all accounts, the shooting occurred only a few minutes after my brother hung up on the 911 operator. So how did the officers have time to get there, counsel my brother, deploy less than lethal, evaluate its effectiveness, make a determination and then decide to shoot? In addition, in the six months since my brothers death, the police have refused to release any information regarding the shooting, reports from the coroner, internal affairs investigation, my brothers personal effects, nothing has been released. My brothers and my sister have retained an attorney to force this Police Department to tell us why they killed my brother.This occurred on June 15, 2012. In Sanger Ca, at around 3:00 pm, yet even though they had my brothers id, and cell phone contacts, they did not notify the family until the next day. We heard about the shooting, read the story in the Fresno Bee, saw coverage on television, all the while not knowing it was our brother. They notified us by phone. We have not heard from anyone in Law Enforcement since then. Any interaction has been initiated by us, and they have not been forthcoming at all.”

Jennie Ruiz


Reported by KFSN-TV:



FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) — 9-1-1 tapes are revealing new information about why Sanger Police shot and killed an unarmed man nearly two weeks ago. 46-year-old Charles Salinas died June 15, after a confrontation with Sanger Police. The 9-1-1 tapes released Wednesday show he made his intentions clear from the start.

The call is about 8 and a half minutes long and ends before Salinas’ confrontation with police.

Dispatcher: “9-1-1, state your emergency.”
Salinas: “I want to kill myself.”

When asked why he wanted to hurt himself, Salinas told a Fresno County dispatcher it was just time for him to die.

Dispatcher: “Are you armed at all?”
Salinas: “Yes.”
Dispatcher: “What are you armed with?”
Salinas: “I have a nine millimeter.”
Dispatcher: “Any other weapons?”
Salinas: “Yes, two… two knives.”

Salinas told a dispatcher he was standing in front of his childhood home but said he wanted to move away from the residential neighborhood so no one else would get hurt. Salinas told the dispatcher to tell officers to shoot him and repeatedly said no one else was in danger.

Salinas: “There’s no way to do it without shooting me unless I move an aggressive movement, right? An aggressive posture or something like that? I know they won’t do it unless I jump towards them?”

Investigators say Salinas was first confronted in an alley and reached for his waistband twice before running away. The next time officers approached, he was in a flowerbed in front of an auto parts store. Three officers opened fire after they said he refused to follow their commands and made a quick movement. “They would have loved for him to come out and comply and do what needs to be done and get him the help he needed. But there are some people that are not going to let that happen,” said Fresno County Sheriff’s Department Spokesperson Chris Curtice.

Salinas hung up with the dispatcher before officers ever arrived at the scene. Her call back went to voicemail. The Fresno County Sheriff’s Department is investigating the shooting. Salinas ended up being unarmed.


  1. jennie ruiz says:

    I just submitted a post regarding this story.

  2. Richard Story says:

    Charlie and I served together in the Marine Corps. I just came across this article and I am totally in shock. My prayers go out to his family, especially his sister whom I met a few times. Charlie would never have hurt anyone. This was a senseless Killing by the Sanger Police Department.

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