SELMA, Calif. (KSEE/KGPE) – An officer with the Selma Police Department was shot and later died following a shooting in the city Tuesday morning.
According to the Fresno County Sheriff’s Office, at around 11:45 a.m., the officer was flagged down in the area of the 2600 block of Pine Street about a suspicious person. The officer made contact with the person – and was shot several times by them, according to the Selma Police Department.
Officials say the suspect then fled the area. The injured officer was rushed to the hospital and later pronounced deceased. The shooting prompted a response by multiple law enforcement agencies, including the U.S. Marshals Service and the California Highway Patrol, to find the suspect – who was detained a short distance away by a deputy with the Fresno County Sheriff’s Office.
According to the Fresno County Sheriff’s Office, the 23-year-old suspect’s gun was recovered a short distance from where he was arrested. Officials add that law enforcement is familiar with the suspect, describing him as having a criminal background, including charges for firearms possession and robbery. The Sheriff’s Office adds that the suspect has served time in prison and is currently on probation as part of California’s AB 109 law (prison realignment).
The incident is the first time an officer with the Selma Police Department has been killed in the line of duty. The identity of the officer killed has not been officially released. Officials say he had served with the department for two years.
As a precaution, nearby Eric White Elementary School was placed on lockdown and families were directed to collect students at another location.
In a statement, Selma’s mayor described the fatal shooting of a city police officer as “senseless violence” and extended his condolences to the officer’s family and friends.
Our community grieves for the family of our Selma officer, a member of our Selma family who made the ultimate sacrifice for our citizens’ safety. Please continue to pray for this officer’s family, the members of our Police Department and thank you to the city officials who have reached out offering their support for our city.Mayor Scott Robertson, City of Selma
Officials with the Fresno County Sheriff’s Office confirm that the shooting suspect is in custody – and that there are no outstanding suspects. The suspect’s identity has also not been officially released.
The Fresno County Deputy Sheriff’s Association is supporting the Selma Police Officer’s Association by establishing a memorial fund in which all donations will be given to the officer’s family. Those who would like to send contributions are asked to send them to:
Fresno Deputy Sheriff’s Association
C/O Selma POA Memorial Fund
1360 Van Ness Avenue
Fresno, CA 93721
Anyone with information about the incident is asked to contact Sheriff’s Detective Richard Antunez at (559) 600-8221.