LOS BANOS, Calif. (AP) — Two police officers remained hospitalized with gunshot wounds after a struggle with a man suspected of breaking into his estranged wife's apartment in central California, authorities said.
Los Banos Police Chief Gary Brizzee said one of the officers, a six-year veteran, was shot in the torso, lower leg and head on Monday. The other officer, who joined the department a year ago, was shot in the torso. Both were in stable condition late Monday at Modesto-area hospitals.
A child of the 39-year-old suspect, who has not been identified, called authorities just after 6 a.m. Monday to report that he had broken into the family's apartment through a window, Brizzee said.
An officer entered the apartment and asked the man, who was standing in the kitchen near the front door, to step outside so they could speak. But the man refused and became argumentative and the two started struggling, Brizzee said.
During the struggle, the officer used his stun gun but the man removed the probes from his body and continued to resist. A second officer arrived and tried to help restrain the man and it was during the struggle that both officers and the suspect were shot, Brizzee.
Helicopters transported them from the small farming community in the San Joaquin Valley to hospitals.
The suspect died at a hospital, Brizzee said.
He was identified Tuesday as Norberto Reyes, the Merced County Sheriff's Office said.
Brizzee wouldn't say if the suspect was armed with his own gun or was able to use one of the officers' weapons. He didn't offer any other details, citing the ongoing investigation.
"This has been a tremendously tough day for us. But the men and women I work with are resilient and we'll get through this together," Brizzee during a brief news conference.
The man hadn't lived with his family for at least a year. Brizzee wouldn't say if his estranged wife was in the home or who witnessed the shooting.
The department had dealt with the man a few years ago on a drug-related case, Brizzee said.
Crime scene investigators worked all day at the shooting scene where two police cruisers were encircled in yellow crime-scene ribbon.