Multiple Officers down in Cali...
This was not an evil "no knock warrant". They knocked and announced several times. No "militarized" police, jack-booted SWAT cops tossing flashbangs in the door, shooting dogs, roughing up pregnant women, and confiscating guns. Just rural Sheriff's Deputies and Arson cops trying to arrest a dangerous bad guy. From reading the below story, it appears the suspect had a revoked permit, but still have a valid CA "guard card". I'm told from a Cali contact that the deputy/investigator who was killed was shot through the armpit opening of his vest. My thoughts and prayers go out to the widow, the wounded officer, and the agencies involved.
Detective killed, officer critical in rural shooting - Afternoon& - fresnobee.com
Detective killed, officer critical in rural shooting
Posted at 04:02 PM on Thursday, Feb. 25, 2010
The Fresno Bee
A gunman killed a detective and wounded two other officers east of Sanger on Thursday, prompting a seven-hour standoff that ended when authorities found the suspect dead inside a mobile home.
The shootout drew hundreds of armor-clad officers from Fresno, Clovis and other Valley police agencies flooding into the tiny community of Minkler. Authorities set up roadblocks on Highway 180, cleared the local airspace, locked down a nearby school and evacuated residents.
One of the wounded men was Reedley police officer Javier Bejar, about 28. Bejar was on "non-recoverable life support," said Reedley City Manager Rocky Rogers.
Fresno County Sheriff Margaret Mims did not name the two victims from her department, including the veteran detective who died. She said the injured deputy was in stable condition and is expected to recover.
The slain detective was reported to have been shot in the side. Bejar suffered a head wound. The other deputy had a shoulder wound. Both injured men were at Community Regional Medical Center in Fresno.
The suspect is Ricky Liles, 51, of Minkler, according to property records, neighbors and one local official. Sheriff's officials would not confirm his identity.
The suspect's body was discovered about 5 p.m. inside the mobile home where the incident took place. A woman, believed to be Liles' wife, had emerged from the home about one hour earlier and was being questioned by the Fresno Police Department, which is investigating the incident at the sheriff's request.
Mims said she did not know whether the man shot himself or died during the exchange of gunfire with officers.
The scene Thursday morning in the historic rural enclave was dangerous and chaotic.
Mims said the incident began about 9:40 a.m. when her detectives joined Cal Fire officials to serve a search warrant on a mobile home at 18276 Kings Canyon Road, between Reed and Lone Oak avenues.
Mary Novack, manager of the Minkler Grocery across from the scene, said she saw four cars with Cal Fire officers and sheriff's deputies roll up to the home.
Officers went to the door and knocked, but got no answer, Novack said. Over a loudspeaker, they ordered the occupants to come out, but no one did. They then broke down the door.
Novack said she heard gunshots. The officers then backed away and "everyone in the world showed up" as law enforcement officers from many Valley agencies flooded the scene, Novack said. She said she saw an officer on the ground who was later put into an ambulance.
Another witness, Bret McArron from Selma, said he heard officers fire 150 to 200 rounds into the home before he was ordered out of the area.
About 200 officers from nearly a dozen agencies responded to the shooting. An armored vehicle was also seen going to the scene and a California Highway Patrol airplane was called in. Highway 180 was closed between Piedra Road and Frankwood Avenue.
Mims said shots were fired from inside the home as deputies tried to serve the warrant, which was connected to investigations into a recent series of reported arsons and shooting incidents. She said Bejar was hit in a subsequent exchange of fire after he and many others came to provide backup.
Mims announced the detective's death in midafternoon.
"This morning, I had to deliver the message that no law enforcement leader wants to deliver, and that was to a wife of a deputy sheriff that her husband had been killed in the line of duty," Mims said.
Chuck Minkler, whose family founded the tiny community in 1892, said he rented the home to a man named Rickey Ray Liles. He said Liles lived there with his wife, Diane, and several small dogs. Minkler said there have been eight or nine fires on his 20-acre property over the past six months. They damaged a two-story storage structure and a small home.
There have also been reports of shots fired into the Minkler store and into his sister's home earlier this week, Minkler said.
"The fires got more frequent over the past six months and we were growing more concerned about my sister," he said.
The sister, Sally Minkler, was grazed in the back after shots were fired in "rapid succession" at her home, which neighbors said is adjacent to the home where Liles resides.
Minkler said he did not know whether Liles was responsible for any of the incidents.
"I got along with him. When there was anything that had to be corrected, I would talk to him and that's the way it worked," Chuck Minkler said. "There may have been some other issues, but not to do with me."
Liles and his wife had worked for a local security company, he said. State records showed a firearms permit for a man with Liles' name was canceled last August, but that the same person had a valid guard license.
Another neighbor said the suspect "has really been having it out" with the Minkler family. The Minklers had not been telling anyone about the situation because they knew the warrant was coming, the neighbor said.
School locked down
Centerville Elementary School was placed on lockdown when deputies contacted the school shortly after the shooting occurred, said Marcus Johnson, Sanger Unified School District superintendent.
"It's a preventative measure," Johnson said, noting that the school is more than a mile from Minkler.
Mims said neighbors were also evacuated around the home where the incident took place.
At Community Regional Medical Center, law enforcement officers and public officials waited to learn the status of the deputies who were shot.
Supervisor Judy Case said a room had been set up for them in the hospital. Sheriff's deputies outside were emotional.
"This is a really awful situation," Case said from the hospital waiting room. "Something you never want to see happen."
Supervisor Henry R. Perea also went to the hospital when he learned he knew one of the deputies, according to his staff.
Mims and a sheriff's chaplain also visited the emergency room.
Highway 180 will remain closed between Piedra, Reed, and Frankwood avenues until further notice.
Staff writers Jim Guy, Marc Benjamin, Tracy Correa, Chris Collins, Eddie Jimenez, Mark Grossi, Paula Lloyd and Brad Branan contributed to this report.