SELMA, Calif. (KFSN) -- Authorities are releasing more information about fallen Selma police officer Gonzalo Carrasco Jr. and the man accused of killing him earlier this week.
On Friday morning, Fresno County Sheriff John Zanoni, Selma Police Chief Rudy Alcaraz and Fresno County District Attorney Lisa Smittcamp held a news conference to detail what they have learned about the final moments leading up to the shooting.
The shooting happened Tuesday morning at about 11:45 in the area of Mitchell and Rose.
Sheriff Zanoni says officer Carrasco was patrolling Pine Street when he pulled over to check on a suspicious man. Authorities have since identified that man as 23-year-old Nathaniel Dixon.
A neighbor told Carrasco that Dixon was standing in the front yard of a home and he didn't live there.
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As Carrasco got out of his car and approached Dixon, officials say the shooting began.
"Dixon immediately pulled out a gun and fired several shots, striking officer Carrasco. Dixon took off running while he was still armed with his gun, which was later determined to be a ghost gun. A .223 caliber style assault rifle."
Investigators say the ambush-style attack on Carrasco didn't give him a moment to defend himself.
Carrasco was taken to Community Regional Medical Center, where he died.
A deputy later located Dixon in the area. Surveillance video obtained by Action News shows Dixon eventually surrendering to law enforcement.
"He knew that he had the weapon on his person and he went into the yard at that location so he wouldn't get checked or stopped by the officer. He was trying to go to that yard like he lived at that house."
Carrasco joined the Selma Police Department as a sworn officer in 2021.
Commander Rene Garza says his dedication to the policing profession was clear from the start.
Prior to becoming a sworn officer, Carrasco spent two years as a reserve volunteer for the department.
"He was coming to work on his own dime and he was not getting a paycheck," said Garza.
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While Carrasco waited for a paid position to become open on the police force, he joined his family as a farm worker.
"He went to go work in the fields to support his family. So, that in itself tells you what kind of person he is," Garza added.
Carrasco was about to have a child of his own.
"Officer Carrasco was very excited to be a father and he wanted to start a family."
Chief Alcaraz says Carrasco's family wants privacy but his upcoming memorial service is an opportunity for people to show their support for his parents, sisters, brother and his unborn baby.
"I would love to see the community out there supporting Gonzalo so that the parents know that his life everything that the stood for was bigger than himself bigger than all of us here on this stage today."
Dixon's next court appearance scheduled for February 23.
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