This correctional officer was shot in 2016 by someone trying to skip the visitation line. He just died.


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And that’s exactly why we’re launching this national crowdfunding campaign as part of our efforts to help “re-fund the police”.

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FRESNO COUNTY, CA – A Fresno County Sheriff’s Office correctional officer succumbed to his sustained injuries earlier in October from a 2016 incident where he and another correctional officer were shot in the lobby of the main jail while dealing with a man who lashed out after being told to go to the back of the visitation line.

Correctional Officer IV Toamalama “Malama” Scanlan passed away on October 12th, slightly over five years after the September 3rd, 2016, incident that left him hospitalized for the remaining years of his life.

The 2016 shooting that left CO IV Scanlan hospitalized reportedly started out as an issue involving a man, identified as Thong Vang, who was trying to skip to the front of the visitation line at the main jail. Vang was instructed to go to the back of the line, but Vang instead opted to walk toward a metal detector that led to a secure area of the jail lobby.

CO IV Scanlan and CO Juanita Davila approached Vang, which both of the officers were unarmed, and tried to get the man to sit down – Vang produced a firearm and shot both of the correctional officers in the head. CO Davila eventually recovered from her injuries, whereas CO IV Scanlan did not.

Vang, a convicted child rapist who served 16 years in prison before being released in 2014, was later convicted of attempted murder in a 2018 trial where he was sentenced to 112 years to life in prison. During his 2018 trial, Vang testified that he was high on methamphetamine during the shooting and proclaimed to have been suffering from paranoia.

Eulalio Gomez, a longtime correctional officer who served as the president of the Fresno County Public Safety Association at the time of the 2016 incident, spoke highly of the fallen correctional officer’s bravery when responding to the armed subject:

“Officer Scanlan was a brave man and was selfless. He brought a taser to a gunfight. That’s all he had at the time to help.”

CO IV Scanlan started his career in law enforcement back in June of 1998 working with Fresno County Probation before joining the sheriff’s office in April of 2006. Six years into his career with the sheriff’s office, he was promoted to the rank of CO IV and worked in population management.

The fallen correctional officer was not only respected by his colleagues – but also by the inmate population and reformed convicts who interacted with him at the jail, according to Gomez:

“As a retiree, I’ve come in contact with a number of ex-inmates they’d ask how Scanlan was doing. He was so respected, ex-gang members and gang members said they were praying for his recovery. He just left a big footprint in many lives. But his passing breaks so many hearts, as well.”

CO IV Scanlan is survived by his wife and six children.

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Three officers shot, one killed in ambush shooting outside bar. Murdered deputy was a new dad.

(Originally published October 16th, 2021)

HOUSTON, TX – A deputy with Harris County Constable Precinct 4 was killed and two other deputies were injured in what authorities described as an ambush-style shooting when the deputies were responding to a reported disturbance outside of a bar.

One person of interest was taken into custody regarding the shooting, but authorities do not believe the individual is the shooter.

The incident occurred along the 4400 block of North Freeway at around 2:15 a.m. on October 16th, according to officials.

Three deputies, identified as 30-year-old Kareem Atkins, 28-year-old Darrell Garret, and 26-year-old Juquaim Barthen were all working an extra shift at the 45 Norte Sports Bar and Lounge when two of the deputies heard a commotion going on outside of the bar.

Houston Police Executive Assistant Chief James Jones said that the deputies suspected that there may have been a robbery going on outside of the bar and went to investigate. When the three deputies went to check out the commotion, an unidentified individual shot the deputies with a rifle from behind.

Officials say that all three deputies were rushed to Memorial Hermann hospital at Texas Medical Center, where Deputy Atkins later passed from his sustained injuries. The fallen deputy, who had joined Precinct 4 back in January of 2019, leaves behind a wife and a 6-month-old child.

Deputy Garnett was shot in his back and has since undergone surgery but remains in the ICU. As for Deputy Barthen, he was reportedly shot in the leg by the suspect.

The search for the shooting suspect is still ongoing, according to reports, with only one person of interest having been taken into custody that investigators claim is not the shooter.

Harris County Precinct 4 Constable Mark Herman noted that he’d met with the families of the slain deputy as well as those injured during the shooting, calling it one of the most difficult things he’s ever done in his career in law enforcement:

“This is probably one of the most difficult things in my 36 years that I’ve had to go through in law enforcement… This is a tough time for Precinct 4. I’m asking for all of our community’s thoughts and prayers for our families.”

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton took to Twitter following the shooting, calling the incident “an evil act” and expressing hope that those involved are arrested quickly: 

“Praying this morning for the family of the fallen Harris County Deputy & for the other 2 still in the hospital. This was an evil act that took this deputies life. A manhunt is currently underway. I hope these perpetrators are apprehended fast.”

The investigation is still ongoing. 

Please follow Law Enforcement Today as we continue to gather further insight into this developing case. 

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One final sacrifice: Deputy’s organs to be donated after dying from being beaten by suspect

(Originally published October 12th, 2021)

AVONDALE, AZ – The Maricopa County Sheriff’s deputy who was reportedly beaten by a suspect earlier in October has died from his sustained injuries. The sheriff’s office reports that the deputy’s organs are being donated.

Deputy Juan Ruiz reportedly succumbed to his injuries on October 11th after spending some time on life support from the beating he suffered days earlier on October 9th. Authorities say that the fallen deputy was attacked by 30-year-old Clinton Robert Hurley outside of the District 2 substation while the deputy was processing the suspect for existing felony warrants.

The incident started after reports came in about a suspicious man that authorities later determined to be Hurley during the early morning hours of October 9th. Hurley was apprehended a short time later, with Deputy Ruiz transporting him to the District 2 substation.

Sheriff Paul Penzone said that when Deputy Ruiz was escorting Hurley into a holding area inside of the substation and “as is standard processing protocol, he removed his handcuffs and attempted to put him in one of the holding cells.”

The sheriff said that when the cuffs were removed from Hurley, he “was initially passive resistant” and then “turned on the deputy” and began attacking him. While Deputy Ruiz was struggling with Hurley, he reportedly tried radioing for backup, but was knocked unconscious by the suspect.

Deputy Ruiz was found by another deputy after the beating, with Hurley having already escaped from the substation.

Following a manhunt lasting a few hours, Hurley reportedly got into a shootout in Tonopah with a homeowner that investigators say he had a history of conflict with. During that incident, Hurley was struck by the homeowner’s returned gunfire and was taken into custody by police.

Maricopa County Sheriff Penzone delivered the following statement regarding Deputy Ruiz’s death:

“It is with a heavy heart that I share with you the passing of Deputy Juan “Johnny” Ruiz #S2212. He succumbed to the injuries sustained on Saturday at the hands of a violent predator. Deputy Ruiz proudly served this community with courage and conviction.

His loss is a tragedy for our profession and our community. We stand strong with great appreciation for his service & pray for his family during this unimaginable sacrifice & loss. I am committed to pursuing justice for Deputy Ruiz to the fullest extent of the law against the suspect. Nothing less is acceptable.”

Governor Doug Ducey shared a statement on Twitter honoring the fallen deputy, writing the following:

“Deputy Ruiz served our state honorably, and he will be missed dearly. We are grateful for his commitment to protecting others, in serving with [the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office] and in donating his organs to those in need. My deepest prayers are with his family, loved ones and fellow officers.”


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