Merced County shooting leaves deputy in critical condition, suspect killed

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Merced County Sheriff deputies rushed to a home near Harmony Ranch Drive on a domestic dispute in progress when it took a turn for the worst. (KFSN)

A Merced County Sheriff's deputy is in critical condition but is recovering after being shot in Delhi.


Merced County Sheriff deputies rushed to a home near Harmony Ranch Drive on a domestic dispute in progress Thursday night when it took a turn for the worst.

"As they approached the house a suspect came out with an assault-style weapon and shot one of the deputies. The second deputy on the scene returned fire and killed the suspect on scene," said Sheriff Vern Warnke, Merced County Sheriff.

The suspect has been identified as 38-year-old Jose Torres of Delhi. The deputy shot was airlifted to a hospital in Modesto in critical condition.

"We're afraid of this every single moment of every single day," said Sheriff Warnke.

One neighbor said she lives close by to the scene and has never seen anything like this happen in the area.

"It's a little bit to worry about, and the school's right here too," said Marisa Prado, neighborhood resident.

The deputies who shot and killed Torres has been placed on paid administrative leave pending the investigation.

The Sheriff said they haven't had an officer injured in the line of duty in years. For now, the investigation is rapidly moving, but there's still many questions left unanswered.

"There's a lot of information that we don't know that we're looking into," said Sgt. Delray Shelton, Merced County Sheriff's Department.

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The deputy was airlifted to Doctors Medical Center in Modesto. About 30 miles away from where the actual shooting took place.


Sheriff Warnke said the deputy injured is now recovering from surgery. The deputy was airlifted to Doctors Medical Center in Modesto. About 30 miles away from where the actual shooting took place.

Officials at this time are not disclosing where the deputy was shot, but we were told none of his vital organs were struck. Sheriff Warnke said when doctors delivered the good news everyone from officers to family members were thrilled that their thoughts and prayers were answered.

"You could just see the elation from every officer. There's probably 30 officers up in that hallway right now and the elation from them to see and hear that he was going to recover was outstanding. It just made my day."

Sheriff Warnke said his deputy is expected to make a full recovery. He also told us when the deputy got out of surgery the first thing he asked for was his wife and kids. They have been able to go into the room to see him.

There have been a number of sheriff and police cars from multiple agencies nearby pull into the hospital. That is expected to continue to happen throughout the night.
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