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Selma, California, police officer shot and killed in line of duty. Suspect arrested

Law enforcement personnel stand outside Eric White Elementary School after a shooting incident nearby on Tuesday, Jan. 31, 2023, in Selma, California. (Eric Paul Zamora/The Fresno Bee/TNS)

A Selma police officer was shot and killed by a suspect in the line of duty in a residential neighborhood in the Fresno County city on Tuesday.

The fatal shooting occurred around 11:45 a.m. in the 2600 block of Pine Street, just west of Highway 99 and south of Rose Avenue.

The officer was rushed to Community Regional Medical Center in Fresno but died there later, Selma Police Chief Rudy Alcaraz said in an update near the scene around 4:05 p.m.

Selma Police and California Highway Patrol officers walk east along Rose Avenue just west of 99 after a shooting incident on Tuesday, Jan. 31, 2023, in Selma, California. (Eric Paul Zamora/The Fresno Bee/TNS)

The officer was not immediately identified out of a respect for privacy of the family, Alcaraz said.

Around 1:20 p.m. the sheriff’s office announced a person of interest had been detained. FCSO said at that time that there were no outstanding suspects.

Sheriff John Zanoni during the afternoon update with Alcaraz said that person had been arrested.

They were not immediately identified by Zanoni, but the sheriff noted the suspect had several prior felony arrests and was known to law enforcement.

Family members of students at Eric White Elementary School wait outside the campus. (Eric Paul Zamora/The Fresno Bee/TNS)

Alcarez said the incident began when a resident noticed the suspect in the front of the house and called police. The officer arrived and found the suspect, who shot him several times before fleeing.

The officer did not fire his weapon, Zanoni said.

The suspect was detained by FCSO deputies between noon and 12:15 p.m., and a gun was recovered, Zanoni said.

FCSO homicide detectives took over the investigation.

Alcaraz said the officer was with Selma police for two years.

“I’m absolutely outraged,” Alcaraz said. “I’m horrified right now. This is the worst-case scenario. “

In addition to FCSO, law enforcement from the surrounding area — including the U.S. Marshals, California Highway Patrol and police from Fresno, Kingsburg and Parlier — swarmed to the scene and established a perimeter around the location for the investigation.

Families can pick up students

About a block to the south of the scene, nearby Eric White Elementary School was locked down during the incident.

At 2:21 p.m. deputies said “families can pickup students at Eric White Elementary near Almond and Mitchell Streets. Mitchell Street between Fig and Rose is closed to pedestrians and motorists as our investigation continues.”

Zanoni stressed during the afternoon media briefing that students and community were safe.


© 2023 The Fresno Bee

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