Trial looks at injuries to officer after Fresno Co. Jail shooting

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- The injuries to correctional officer Malama Scanlan are the focus now in the trial against the man accused of shooting two officers in the Fresno County jail in 2016.

Thong Vang shot officer Juanita Davila in the jaw first, but he did the most damage when he shot Scanlan in the head a little while later.

As sheriff's deputies arrested the shooter, paramedics rushed to the Fresno County jail to get treatment for the victims.

Scanlan had a gunshot wound to his head but still had some muscle control.

"Officer Scanlan kept coming up with his right arm kind of in a defensive motion around his face," said paramedic Benjamin Wiele.

But just a few minutes later, he was at Community Regional Medical Center and motionless.

"Patient was intubated, unresponsive," said Dr. Nathan Deis, a neurologist at CRMC. "He had a breathing tube and he had evidence of a bullet wound to his head."

A series of CT scans show the trajectory of the bullet through his head -- from the top and back right side to the nasal cavity area.

The neurosurgeon who treated him for the first four months says between the damage from the bullet and the ensuing infections, the prognosis didn't look good.

"I felt it was very guarded," Dr. Deis said. "I was concerned that after the severe injury he had as well as the difficult time in the intensive care unit and his poor exam at the time, the likelihood of a functional recovery was essentially zero."

Scanlan has inched forward in his recovery, but he still hasn't walked, talked, or eaten on his own in the 18 months since the shooting.

His wife will testify about his current condition on Wednesday.

Vang faces more than 100 years to life in prison if he's convicted on all counts. He's expected to testify in his own defense later this week.
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