Police officer shot during traffic stop in Porterville

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Police pulled over a car late Thursday and police said 29-year-old Ruben Carreles jumped out and ran. They said one officer pursued Carreles and he shot the officer with his handgun. (KFSN)

A Porterville police officer is recovering Friday and a suspect is still in the hospital after they exchange gunfire late Thursday night.

A traffic stop almost became deadly Thursday night when two Porterville police officers attempted to make a traffic stop for an equipment violation on Olive Avenue at around 11:15 p.m.

As the car pulled over, the passenger, identified as 29-year-old Ruben Carreles, jumped out and ran east on Olive.

One officer pursued Carreles and police said he shot the officer with his handgun. Both officers returned fire, striking Carreles four times in the arm, leg, and upper body.

During the exchange, one of the bullets even struck the side of Golden Touch Limousine.

"In the heat of the moment and cops chasing you or something," employee Jacob Cline said. "Bullets don't always hit shoulder level or body level, so."

Both the suspect and the injured officer were brought to Kaweah Delta Hospital and the officer was released Friday morning.

"They're here to do their job and everybody is just taking it as like they're bad people," Mindy Copeland of Porterville said. "And too many of them are getting killed too soon."

"You're seeing a lot of these incidents across the US right now and it's unfortunate for all the agencies that have to go through that," Porterville Police Chief Eric Kroutil said. "But we'll get through it, we'll get him better, we're going to support him through all his recovery."

The identities of both officers are not being released as the investigation continues but the chief said the young officer who was shot is in good spirits.

He was previously a police explorer and evidence technician with the department.

"Stuff like this just doesn't happen in Porterville," Kroutil said. "I've been here 23 years and never has an officer been shot in my time here and it is scary. We have asked the Tulare County Sheriff Mike Boudreaux if his crew can come in and do an investigation and he absolutely allowed them to do that."

Both Carreles and the car's driver, 31-year-old Vickie Monethichack, were arrested for attempted homicide of a police officer, conspiracy, and resisting arrest.
Both had several warrants out for their arrests.

And a closer look at a shared Facebook account shows the two married in 2013.

Related Topics:
officer-involved shootingtulare countypolice officer shotPorterville
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