Jan. 15, 2013
Monica Lara, OVN correspondent
A 58-year-old Casitas Springs motorcyclist was pronounced dead at the scene after reportedly leading the California Highway Patrol on a high-speed pursuit that ended in an officer-involved shooting Jan. 5.
Theodore Keiper was heading south on the Pacific Coast Highway when he and a CHP officer engaged in a high-speed chase around 2 p.m. When the CHP officer tried to take him into custody, Keiper allegedly exceeded speeds of more than 100 mph.
Additional officers were called to the scene when the chase ended on Padre Juan Canyon Road, an inclining road near Faria Beach that runs perpendicular to Highway 101 in Ventura. Keiper lost control and crashed his motorcycle in a ravine along the roadway. The initial investigation by the Ventura County Sheriff’s Major Crimes Bureau reported Keiper was threatening the officers as they attempted to take him into custody, saying he made “provocative movements” toward them, according to a Sheriff’s Department press release. The officers fired their handguns at Keiper in response to the perceived threat to their lives. Keiper died at the scene; no officers were injured in the incident.
The sheriff’s office could not confirm what sparked the high-speed pursuit between Keiper and the CHP officer initially, according to Capt. Don Aguilar, the department’s public information officer.
Although the incident involved CHP officers, the sheriff’s office is helping piece together the details of the fatal incident, according to Aguilar.
“It is pretty typical for an agency to ask for help with an investigation,” Aguilar said. “In this case, we’re involved in the investigation of the shooting part of it.”
The department continues to wait for results of blood alcohol levels and drug toxicology for Keiper. Investigators continue to conduct witness interviews and analyze evidence involved in the case. It is unknown when the investigation will reach a conclusion.
“It is going to take some time,” Aguilar said. “It is a tremendous amount of work in the case of a homicide.”
The case is expected to be passed to the Ventura County District Attorney’s Office for procedural review when the sheriff’s office concludes the investigation.
“The DA will review to see if there are any charges that need to be added later,” Aguilar said.
Witnesses to any part of the incident are encouraged to contact the sheriff’s major crimes bureau at 383-8790.