Deputy Shot in Fresno County

July 14, 2009 12:00:00 AM PDT
A domestic disturbance call brought Fresno County deputies to the scene. And when they arrived, authorities say a man armed with an assault rifle opened fire.                 |   Watch Videos Above for Extended Coverage   |

It all unfolded Tuesday morning at a tire shop on Elm and North in Fresno County.

I spoke with the suspect's family. They are upset by what happened but would like to talk with detectives before making any statement. Two deputies are at home recovering and a police canine is still being treated after the violent confrontation.

James Parker said, "We heard shooting, pow, pow, pow. We started ducking over there and that was it."

Parker lives right behind the business where sheriff's deputies confronted 32 year old Jesus Serna. Seconds after deputies drove up, they were greeted with gunfire.

"The shots into the vehicles were right into the windshield on the driver's side. So there was no doubt about his intent. He was going to kill deputy sheriffs," said Sheriff Mims.

Veteran Deputy George Ozburn was wounded by bullet and glass fragments and Detective Mark Eaton was hurt when glass blew out his window. Both were treated at Community Regional Medical Center and released.

A K-9 dog named Reno, wasn't as fortunate. The German Shepherd was wounded by the suspect after he discovered him during a brief search.

"It looks like the bullet entered from the back of his ear and came out from the front of his face," said Sheriff Mims.

Action News was there as deputies hovered around the injured dog. Swat officers witnessed the shooting, they describe it as deliberate. The canine lost his left eye and will now be forced to retire.

Serna died in a large storage yard filled with tall wooden pallets. The sheriff says Serna first fired at deputies before five of them fired at him. Hitting him several times.

Parker says Serna's family members came to talk with him about how the shooting unfolded. He says was honest and told them what they probably did not want to hear.

"The police officers did their job and I'm thankful they did their job. That guy could've killed me or the guy that works with me. For whatever reason he was mad. It could've been a more tragedy than it was," said Parker.

Reno is expected to be released within the next few days. The deputies who were injured told the sheriff they were especially grateful for two women who stopped to help the injured officers. And another man who stopped to pray for them while they were treated.

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