A Fresno County sheriff’s deputy shot and critically wounded an armed parolee west of Minkler on Thursday morning.
The shooting happened about 8 a.m. near the River Bend Mobile Home Park near Highway 180 and Lone Oak Road, where a state parole officer had gone to meet with the 21-year-old man, sheriff’s spokesman Tony Botti said, adding that the man had recently been released from Fresno County Jail.
Botti said the parolee “didn’t like” how the interview was going with the officer and ran. The officer called for backup from deputies, and alerted them that the suspect was believe to be armed.
The deputies who responded saw the suspect near the highway and pursued him. Botti said the suspect then ran through a vineyard off Lone Oak toward a home. A deputy was able to cut him off, and the suspect ran back toward Highway 180, where he was confronted at the highway and Lone Oak. Botti said a veteran deputy there ordered the suspect to surrender, but the man refused. The deputy fired multiple rounds from a rifle, striking the suspect.
“It’s unknown what exactly occurred during the confrontation to cause the deputy to shoot,” Botti said. “Deputies quickly began to give the suspect medical aid as requests were made for ambulances and the SkyLife helicopter to respond.”
Investigators have located the suspect’s weapon, Botti said. The man was taken by helicopter to Community Regional Medical Center.
Sheriff’s Office personnel had been preparing to honor Sgt. Rod Lucas at a Courthouse Park memorial in downtown Fresno when the call about the shooting came in. Lucas died in November 2016 when a colleague’s gun fired accidentally.
While the shooting was investigated, eastbound Highway 180 traffic to Kings Canyon National Park was sent on a six-mile detour through Piedra Road and Frankwood Road, according to Caltrans officials.
In 2010, a Fresno County deputy and a Reedley police officer were killed in a gun battle with a Minkler resident.