Breaking: California sheriff’s deputies ambushed, officer shot by convicted felon with arrest warrant

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TEMPLETON, CA – On September 24th, a deputy with the San Luis Obispo County Sheriff’s Office encountered a subject in which he knew was a wanted fugitive. 

The deputy attempted to stop the male who fled on foot into a cemetery. 

As deputies chased the male, he hid and ambushed pursuing deputies, firing upon them. 

The deputies returned fire, killing the suspect. Here’s the back story.

Sheriff Parkinson with a live update on today’s Officer Involved Shooting that occurred in Templeton.

Posted by San Luis Obispo County Sheriff's Office on Thursday, September 24, 2020

A deputy who was on patrol was driving down Theatre Road in Templeton, California when he observed a vehicle he knew belonged to a wanted felon.  The vehicle was unoccupied. 

He continued checking the area when he found the subject walking down the road on foot. The deputy attempted to stop him by turning his emergency lights on and the felon took off on foot, fleeing into a nearby cemetery. 

The initial deputy, joined by another deputy began a foot chase of the suspect through the cemetery. 

The suspect was able to get out of sight of the deputies and hid behind some brush outside of the view of the deputies.  When the deputies got close, the suspect allegedly ambushed them, firing several shots, striking one of them.

One deputy was struck by the bullets in the lower leg as the deputies returned fire on the suspect.  The suspect got up from his place of hiding and fled again on foot, through the cemetery into a vineyard.

The suspect went through the vineyard and back out onto Theatre Road where his vehicle was parked.  As the suspect made it to his vehicle, two more deputies, who responded to the report of a deputy being shot, encountered the suspect near his vehicle.

The two deputies made contact with the suspect who was still armed with a handgun.  The deputies and the suspect engaged in gunfire, none of the other deputies were struck, however, the suspect was shot and declared deceased at the scene.

The deputy who had been shot was airlifted by the California Highway Patrol to a nearby hospital for medical treatment.  The deputy is listed in stable condition and is currently awaiting surgery.

The Sheriff’s Office Major Crime Unit is conducting the investigation regarding the circumstances surrounding the shooting.  The California Highway Patrol Multi-Disciplinary Action Investigation Team as well as the San Luis Obispo District Attorney’s Office are assisting with the officer involved shooting investigation.

The Sheriff’s Office states that the suspect in this case was a convicted felon who had an open felony warrant for his arrest at the time of the shooting. 

The male had an extensive history of multiple weapons charges and is a member of a white supremacist gang.

The suspect was involved in a criminal investigation into the male prior to the shooting with the deputies.  The Sheriff’s Office advised that they are not going to identify the suspect in this case as of yet as the next of kin has not been notified as of yet. 

They are currently working at making contact with family members. The Sheriff’s Office advised that the suspect was well known to deputies seemingly because of his criminal behavior. 

They also said that the suspect was wanted out of their agency for the felony warrant, but did not disclose what the warrant was for at the time of the shooting. The Sheriff’s Office advised that they are currently executing a search warrant on the suspect’s residence at this time in hopes of determining more information which may have led up to the officer involved shooting. 

They advised that they will release any information on the results of that search warrant at a later date.

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Three officers ambushed by man on a bicycle – while second shooter was hiding and waiting to open fire

September 20, 2020 – PHILADELPHIA, PA – It’s happened again.

“This is the height of lawlessness and it is completely unacceptable behavior in a civilized society. It is despicable and morally bankrupt.”

These were the words of Cherelle Parker, Philadelphia City Council Majority Leader, after a man on a bike opened fire on 3 police officers in an unmarked car. 

Parker added that she was relieved that none of the officers were seriously injured. 

“This was a situation that could have ended up a lot worse,” she said. 

The officers’ names have not been released, as they are part of an undercover narcotics operation.

They were riding in an car around 8 pm on Friday night.

While driving through a neighborhood, a man on a bicycle pulled up alongside of them. When the driver rolled down his window, the cyclist pulled out a handgun and opened fire.

The officer accelerated and ran into a fence, crashing his car. 

According Sgt. Eric Gripp, a department spokesman, the man on the bike continued shooting. One of the bullets pierced the car door, went through the driver’s seat, striking that officer in the back. 

NBC 10 reports that Gripp stated that the bulletproof vest he was wearing probably saved his life. 

The officers were able to dismount the vehicle and returned fire.  That is when rounds from another shooter came their direction.

Police say that a second gunman was positioned further down a different street opened fire. After firing a few more rounds, both gunmen fled the scene, going in unknown directions. 

The female officer sustained cuts on her leg. The third officer was fortunately uninjured. The two officers were transported to Einstein Medical Center. They were both treated and released early Saturday. 

Both subjects are still on the run. The Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 5 has offered a $10,000 reward for information leading to the arrest of the subjects in the shooting.

“Our officers were ambushed for simply doing their jobs, working to get drugs and guns off our streets,” Lodge President John McNesby said. “This brazen disrespect of law enforcement is unacceptable.”

Police believe that bike-riding suspect is 28-year-old Jeffione Thomas. 

Gripp described him as 5’7″ tall and approximately 180 pounds. The second gunmen was not identified.

Gripp says that both men are wanted for attempted murder and other related charges.  ABC 6 reported that there was a cell phone found at the scene that helped identify the first shooter. 

It is unknown if this was a coordinated attack on the officers or two random people who just happened to have guns and started firing. The latter seems highly unlikely, as the quantity ambushes of law enforcement is continuing to rise.

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