A police officer also patrolled the campus, keeping the peace where his fellow officer Junus Perry shot and killed 17-year-old Jesse Carrizales in what chief Perry Dyer is calling a "suicide by cop." Even though investigators think Perry was justified in the shooting, he still finds himself at the center of an investigation. "And it's kind of a role reversal for the officer," said Fresno Police Officers' Association president Jacky Parks. "It's kind of a weird feeling to now become the person who is asked questions. It's an awkward feeling and it's stressful, very stressful." That's where the companion officer program comes into play.
The program helps officers and their families in any kind of traumatic situation. For instance, a fellow officer is still checking in on Brian Nieto, almost two years since a suspect shot him. Companion officers are trained to prepare people like Officer Perry for the role reversal. "The key in an officer-involved shooting is to be able to provide insight for the officer: how the process works, how the criminal investigation goes, and how the internal affairs investigation goes," said Parks. Companion officers do it on a volunteer basis, but they say it's well worth the time to keep their brotherhood tight. "We just want to make sure our family's okay," said Parks. "Just like everybody else would do with their family.
Coroners are still waiting for a toxicology report on Carrizales to see if he had drugs in his system. Investigators are looking into whether he should have even been allowed back in school because of his psychological problems.