A Selma Police officer was shot and killed by a suspect in the line of duty in a residential neighborhood in the Fresno County city on Tuesday.
The fatal shooting occurred around 11:45 a.m. in the 2600 block of Pine Street, just west of Highway 99 and south of Rose Avenue.
The officer was rushed to Community Regional Medical Center in Fresno but died there later, Selma Police Chief Rudy Alcaraz said in an update near the scene around 4:05 p.m.
The officer, who was with the Selma Police for two years, was not immediately identified out of a respect for privacy of the family, Alcaraz said.
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Fatal shooting incident
Alcaraz said the incident began when a resident noticed the suspect in the front of the house and called police. The officer arrived and found the suspect, who shot him several times before fleeing.
“I’m absolutely outraged,” Alcaraz said. “I’m horrified right now. This is the worst-case scenario. “
The officer did not fire his weapon, Zanoni said.
FCSO homicide detectives took over the investigation.
In addition to FCSO, law enforcement from the surrounding area — including the U.S. Marshals, California Highway Patrol and police from Fresno, Kingsburg and Parlier — swarmed to the scene and established a perimeter around the location for the investigation.
Arrested suspect had criminal past
Around 12:10 p.m., the suspect was detained after a deputy spotted the suspect near Fig and Sequoia, according to the Fresno County Sheriff’s Office.
The 23-year-old suspect was taken into custody and a gun was later recovered a short distance from where the man was arrested, the FCSO said.
The suspect’s identity was not immediately released.
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But the sheriff’s office said law enforcement is familiar with the suspect and that he has a criminal background, including charges for firearms possession and robbery.
The suspect served time in prison and is currently on probation as part of California’s AB 109 law (prison realignment).
According to the Fresno County District Attorney’s Office, the suspect was sentenced in March 2022 to serve 5 years, 4 months in prison.
But he was eventually released by September 2022 and placed on Post Release Community Supervision, the DA’s office said.
“While we mourn this tragic loss and offer our sincere condolences to the family and friends of the fallen officer,” Fresno County DA Lisa Smittcamp said in a news release, “we must also focus our energy on demanding that our legislators do more to hold criminals accountable for their actions.”
Families can pick up students
About a block to the south of the scene, Eric White Elementary School was locked down during the incident.
At 2:21 p.m. deputies said “families can pickup students at Eric White Elementary near Almond and Mitchell Streets. Mitchell Street between Fig and Rose is closed to pedestrians and motorists as our investigation continues.”
Zanoni stressed during the afternoon media briefing that students and community were safe.
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