Officer-involved shooting

A Yuma County Sheriff's Office deputy and another law enforcement officer work the scene of an officer-involved shooting Tuesday night in the 800 block of South Avenue C.

Yuma police have released the name of the person who was shot Tuesday evening by deputies with the Yuma County Sheriff's Office who were responding to a report of a domestic disturbance at a residence in the 800 block of South Avenue C.

Sgt. Lori Franklin, a spokesperson for the Yuma Police Department, said the 24-year-old woman, who later died at Yuma Regional Medical Center, has been identified as Melissa Ventura.

According to Franklin, the shooting happened at 7:53 p.m. She said when deputies arrived at the residence they began knocking on the front door, intending to speak with Ventura.

However, immediately upon opening the door, Franklin said Ventura attacked the deputies with a knife, which resulted in the deputies firing their weapons at her.

Deputies called for a Rural/Metro ambulance and immediately began first aid on Ventura. She was then transported to YRMC, where she later succumbed to her injuries.

The Yuma Police Department is conducting the investigation into the shooting. Franklin explained that once the investigation is completed, the findings will be forwarded to the Yuma County Attorney's Office, which will determine whether the shooting was justified. The deputies were not injured in the incident.

Sheriff's office spokesman Alfonso Zavala said the deputies involved in the shooting have been placed on administrative leave pending the outcome of the investigation, which is standard procedure whenever a deputy is involved in a shooting. The names of the deputies involved are not being released.

According to court records, Ventura had been arrested four times since 2011, with the latest being in 2014 in which she was convicted of aggravated domestic violence. Court documents also indicate she has a history of mental illness.

The Yuma Police Department encourages anyone with any information about this case to call 928-373-4700, or 78-CRIME to remain anonymous.

James Gilbert can be reached at or 539-6854. Find him on Facebook at or on Twitter @YSJamesGilbert.


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