Community rallies in support of injured Merced County deputy

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The Merced County community has come together to raise thousands of dollars for an injured deputy. Deputy Alex Barba was shot last Thursday while answering a domestic dispute call in Delhi. (KFSN)

The Merced County community has come together to raise thousands of dollars for an injured deputy. Deputy Alex Barba was shot last Thursday while answering a domestic dispute call in Delhi.

Since the incident, a Delhi family has gone around town placing blue balloons and ribbons while several others have donated to help the Barba family. In just two days, Barba's' GoFundMe page has received an incredible response with several thousand dollars already raised.

The Merced County Sheriff said he's amazed with the outpouring of donations and support the deputy has received from the community.

It's not uncommon for kids to have a car wash and earn some extra cash but kids are holding up signs in Delhi and waving at passersby to raise money to help.

"We just felt it necessary to get out here and help him," resident Shannon Ward said.

Ward is a friend of Deputy Barba, she says along with a car wash, they've gone around town placing blue ribbons and balloons to help raise money and help support the family.

"Barba is not just a sheriff," she said. "He's a part of our community. He's a friend to so many of us."

It's not just Ward who's wanting to help, an employee with the Merced County Sheriff's Office started a GoFundMe account for the deputy a day after he was shot. Sheriff Vern Warnke said Barba's wife will have to take off work to help take care of her husband and the money will go toward helping Barba get back on his feet.

"There was one snide comment on the social media about, 'Oh, it's medical bills.'" Warnke said. "You're right, his medical bills are taken care of but what the daily life needs that are going to go down through this. This GoFundMe is going to help Deputy Barba and his family heal and take care of their everyday needs that are going to be cropping up."

In just two days, the account quickly raised more than $10,000, hoping to help the injured deputy.

"When he took those two bullets, the community took two bullets because of what we do on a daily basis," Warnke said. "To see the outpouring coming in from our community. I'm so very proud."

The Barba family said they still are trying to heal but said in a statement that their family would like to "thank the entire community of Merced County for their loving generous supports throughout this entire incident."

Ward said she hopes this brings awareness. They're out here protecting their citizens, their communities and putting their life on the risk and that hopefully, this will be the last car wash they do for an officer injured in the line of duty.

The sheriff also said the deputy is expected to hopefully be released by Monday night.
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