Merced County Sheriff's Deputy shot in Delhi identified

MODESTO, Calif. (KFSN) -- The Merced County Sheriff's deputy who was shot and injured after responding to a domestic abuse call in Delhi has been identified and is recovering from his injuries at a hospital in Modesto. Merced County Sheriff Vern Warnke said his deputy, who was airlifted to a Doctors Medical Center in Modesto, is still on the road to a full recovery.

"One of the things that he required yesterday was please don't make me laugh, really going to leave that open line."

Sheriff Warnke said his deputy, Alejandro "Alex" Barba, is a lucky man. Barba was shot in the leg and abdomen Thursday after responding to a domestic abuse call.

"The suspect came out the office shooting an AR-15 style weapon. The second deputy rounds the corner and shoots," said Sheriff Warnke.

The suspect Juan Barajas, who has an extensive criminal history, was shot and killed by eight-year veteran Adam Leuchner.

"Had it not been for the actions of both deputies I think this would have been a lot more tragic than it really was," said Sheriff Warnke.

Sheriff Warnke shared with us a photo of law enforcement who lined the hallway in the emergency room praying for his injured deputy. A photo he said has shows outpouring of support from agencies all around the Central Valley.

"Police officers, highway patrol-- I can only imagine the heartbreak they felt in this."

Barba's doctors said despite his serious injuries they expect him to make a complete recovery.

"Don't know how good of a dancer he is, but he's going to be able to dance when he gets done," said Sheriff Warnke.

Leuchner, the deputy who assisted, was involved in an officer-involved shooting in Turlock about three years ago.
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