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The California Highway Patrol didn't know that one of its officers had fired his gun at a moving car Sunday until more than an hour afterward, when a girl was taken to a hospital with a gunshot injury, officials confirmed Tuesday.
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The officer who fired the shot, David Mata, a five-year veteran, and his partner, Jose Magdaleno, are being investigated for policies they may have violated after Mata shot at a car early Sunday morning while investigating a drag racing incident, Officer Greg Williams said.

Williams said he could not discuss what specific policies are being investigated in the case.

But when asked when the shooting was reported, Williams confirmed the CHP didn't learn about it until after a girl wounded in the shooting went to San Joaquin Hospital and then Kern Medical Center.

A CHP shift supervisor talked to the girl at KMC at about 2 a.m., Williams said. The shooting occurred on a rural road near Edison at about 12:30 a.m., he said.

Apparently, some 90 minutes had passed before the CHP became aware that one of its own had fired his gun at a moving car.

The 14-year-old girl reported a minor neck wound after a car she was riding in was struck by a bullet fired by a CHP officer, Williams said.
It's not clear whether she was hit by the bullet, a fragment or flying glass, he said.

Chief CHP spokesman Tom Marshall in Sacramento said he could not comment on the internal investigation, but he released CHP shooting policies which state an officer who fires his weapon must report the incident "immediately" to a supervisor after the situation has stabilized.

An officer who violates that policy can be disciplined by a verbal warning up to a firing, he said.

The two officers have been assigned to desk duties pending the conclusion of the investigation, Williams said.

The drag racing was first reported at Malaga and Muller roads near Edison.
Mata and Magdaleno went in their patrol car to the scene where they saw cars leaving.

They stopped one car and while talking to the car's occupants, a second vehicle accelerated toward them, the CHP has reported.

Mata fired one shot at the car which sped away, officers said.

The Kern County Sheriff's Department reported Monday afternoon that it is investigating the officer-involved shooting, in cooperation with the CHP.

In addition, the sheriff's department reported it was investigating Alberto Gayton, 21, on suspicion of assault with a deadly weapon on a peace officer, stemming from the report of the vehicle accelerating toward Mata and Magdaleno.

Gayton has not been arrested, pending a review of the case by the Kern County District Attorney's staff.

Neither the CHP nor the sheriff's office would release the name of the 14-year-old girl.
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