On Thursday night, Oct. 22, a San Bernardino police officer responding to calls of man armed with a gun jumping on cars at a convenience store parking lot was involved in a physical altercation with the suspect that was followed by an officer-involved shooting resulting in the death of Mark Matthew Bender Jr., 35, of San Bernardino.
According to a San Bernardino Police Department press release, the department’s dispatch center received a call for service at 11:16 p.m. on Thursday in reference to a man with a gun jumping on cars in the parking lot at 279 E. Base Line, San Bernardino.
A solo officer was close by and responded within minutes to assist the citizen’s call for help. The uniformed officer contacted the suspect in the parking lot and immediately gave verbal commands to the suspect. The suspect refused to follow commands and attempted to walk into a convenience store that was occupied by several employees and citizens.
The officer attempted to physically restrain the suspect, placing himself between the suspect and the entrance to the store. A physical altercation occurred between the officer and the suspect.
The suspect was able to physically repel the officer and retrieved a weapon from his pocket, and was turning to face the officer.
At this time, an officer-involved shooting occurred. The officer discharged his duty weapon four times and the suspect was struck multiple times.
Responding officers provided medical aid on scene. The suspect was transported to a local hospital where he was pronounced deceased.
A 9mm semi-automatic handgun was located at the scene. The firearm was determined to be functional and was photographed, processed and collected as evidence. The firearm was loaded with no record of ownership on file with Department of Justice.
Department homicide detectives are investigating the shooting with the assistance of San Bernardino County District Attorney’s Office.
According to the release, a criminal history of Bender revealed a lengthy violent criminal past dating back 17 years. The suspect had several arrests for domestic violence, grand theft, possession of narcotics, possession of narcotics for sale, possession of a firearm, felon in possession of a firearm and receiving stolen property. He had additional arrests for false imprisonment, criminal threats and attempted murder.
The suspect was an ex-felon with several probation violation and parole violation arrests. An ex-felon is not permitted to possess a firearm in the state of California.
This investigation is ongoing, and anyone with further information is urged to contact Detective A. Reyna at (909) 384-5628 / firstname.lastname@example.org or Sergeant A. Tello at (909) 384-4955 / email@example.com.