MADERA COUNTY – The Madera County Sheriff-Coroner has determined the identity of the man killed during an officer involved shooting on Thursday near Millerton Lake as 61-year-old Gilbert Jake Vanderburgh.
Detectives have also learned through their investigation that the man who fled the scene and remains on the loose is 29-year-old Kyle Patrick Snipes.
Snipes is described as a white male, 6’3″ tall, 220 lbs., with blond hair, blue eyes and several visible tattoos. He was last seen wearing a black tank top, beige or blue shorts and may have a cut on his forehead.
In addition to being wanted in connection with Thursday’s case, Snipes is also a parolee at large who is wanted on robbery charges and has an active warrant for narcotics violations, according to the Sheriff’s Office. Snipes should be considered armed and dangerous and members of the public are urged not to approach him; instead call law enforcement immediately.
The Sheriff’s Office says their initial investigation indicates that Snipes and Vanderburgh knew each other, but their exact relationship is unknown at this point.
Around 4 a.m. on Thursday morning, members of the Fresno HEAT* (Help Eliminate Auto Theft) Task Force located a stolen car in Fresno County. The team conducted a surveillance operation on the car and followed the suspect into Madera County.
The driver, who was later identifued as Kyle Snipes, discovered he was being followed and led law enforcement officers to a home on the 49000 block of Road 210, near the community of Fine Gold. Snipes got out of the car and ran toward the house.
HEAT members then surrounded the home and identified themselves as law enforcement. Officers and deputies exchanged dialogue with a resident inside the home, later identified as Gilbert Vanderburgh, for approximately one hour and he refused to surrender, according to the Sheriff’s Office.
Vanderburgh then reportedly pointed a rifle out a window of the home in the direction of officers. A Fresno County Sheriff’s deputy, who is on the HEAT Task Force, then fired two shots with his rifle at the gunman, striking and killing Vanderburgh.
The Madera County Sheriff’s SWAT team searched the house and found it to be empty. The Sheriff’s Office says they did recover the rifle Vanderburgh had pointed at officers.
A woman who was inside the stolen vehicle was taken into custody for questioning, but was not arrested.
The Madera County Sheriff’s Office is the lead agency investigating the officer-involved shooting. The Fresno County Sheriff’s Office is also conducting its own independent investigation.
Anyone with information on the whereabouts of Kyle Snipes is asked to please contact the Madera County Sheriff’s Office at (559) 675-7770, the Fresno County Sheriff’s Office at (559) 600-3111, or call Crime Stoppers at (559) 498-STOP (7867).
*Fresno HEAT is comprised of members from the California Highway Patrol, Fresno County Sheriff’s Office (FCSO), the National Insurance Crime Bureau and Clovis Police Department.