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Suspect In Custody After Shooting Fresno County Sheriff's Deputy

Jul 2, 2019

A Fresno County Sheriff’s Deputy is in surgery after being shot in the Fresno County foothills. The suspect is in custody.

At around 11 a.m. on Tuesday morning, 49-year-old deputy John Erickson had responded to a call of shots fired in the Tollhouse area, said Fresno County Sheriff Margaret Mims during a press conference on Tuesday afternoon. “When deputies arrived on scene, they started taking fire from what they described as rifle shots,” she said. “I couldn’t even count how many hit the windshield and side of that pickup.”

A bullet struck the back of Erickson’s leg and broke his femur, and Mims said he had to hide behind bushes for nearly an hour before deputies found him and carried him hundreds of feet to meet a rescue helicopter.

The violence arose out of a dispute over a property line, which Mims said deputies had responded to at this address in the past.

The suspect reportedly had multiple weapons and was shooting from a makeshift shed, where he enclosed himself while on the phone with a crisis negotiation team. “They were in constant communication with the suspect and talked him into coming out peacefully after about two and a half hours of contact,” Mims said.

The suspect was taken into custody shortly after 3 p.m., and Mims says he’ll be held accountable for his actions. “This is attempted murder, and it’s all over a silly reason to start shooting at anybody,” she said. Investigators plan to conduct a medical assessment before beginning to interview him on Tuesday night.

Erickson has been admitted in stable condition to Community Regional Medical Center, where he was still undergoing surgery as of 5 p.m. on Tuesday evening. A civilian who had been riding along with Erickson was uninjured except for a few scratches from broken glass.

Authorities have not yet released the identity of the suspect, who Mims said will be facing at least two charges of attempted murder.