Madera Police chief 'angry' suspects opened fire on officer

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There's anger from the police community over a violent attack on a Madera Police officer Sunday morning that was caught on camera. (KFSN)

There's anger from the police community over a violent attack on a Madera Police officer Sunday morning that was caught on camera. Dashcam video captured the terrifying moments for a rookie officer and his civilian passenger as a suspect fired a volley of shots at them, narrowly missing the two.

Madera Police Chief Steve Frazier addressed the video and vowed to have an arrest by weeks end.

"That was purely by the grace of God that these two survived," he said. "We are following every lead and making sure we are going to get someone in custody shortly."

The now viral video shows what started as a traffic stop for a broken headlight ended with what could have had a deadly outcome. Frazier identified 23-year-old Julian Garcia as the driving officer. He finished the academy last July and his field training just two weeks ago.

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As the suspect weaved through the neighborhood, a passenger in the Mazda reached out the window and shot at the police cruiser, shattering a window and narrowly missing the officer and a civilian passenger, police said.

In order to protect the privacy of the passenger, they're not releasing her name, only saying she's a woman in her 20s who was riding along as a part of the 14-week Volunteer Citizen's Academy and was not wearing a bulletproof vest.

"Anytime, any situation can go sideways on you and this young lady experienced that," Frazier said.

Officers counted a total of 14 shots fired, three of which hit the police vehicle. One of the shots went through the windshield and shattered back window. Another shot hit a home and landed in a pile of clothes.

While showing the car, Madera Police Department Lt. Gino Chiaramonte addressed why dispatch didn't hear the initial call for shots fired. He believes in the heat of the moment, a channel on the hard mounted radio was hit.

"Which changed the channel out of our jurisdiction and dispatch couldn't copy," Chiaramonte explained. "Officers didn't know where he was at or where the pursuit was going"

Garcia's call was finally heard from his lapel radio.

"Officers got the first call from a citizen who put out a "shots fired" call in that area and they put two and two together," Chiaramonte said.

The chief said both Garcia and his passenger met with counselors directly after the incident.
Related Topics:
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