Police are searching for a 51-year-old Dos Palos man accused of shooting a Merced County sheriff’s deputy … who they now say has a history of domestic violence.
Guadalupe Lopez-Herrera is accused of opening fire on detectives investigating a domestic violence report.
He’s still on the run in a remote area south of Dos Palos, California.
The detective who was shot is a 14-year veteran. Police have not released his name, but Deputy Daryl Allen said the officer was taken to an area hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.
It happened Wednesday just before 3:30 p.m. at the intersection of Eucalyptus Road and Highway 33 in Dos Palos.
According to police, investigators were following up on a domestic violence report from over the weekend and approaching the house when Lopez-Herrera opened fire without warning. They say he then took off.
According to court records, Lopez-Herrera has a history of domestic violence allegations.
He was sentenced to 45 days in jail and three years of probation after he pleaded no contest on January 23 to a domestic violence charge and to making criminal threats.
Court records show he also was ordered not to possess any firearms.
The victim in the case asked for a restraining order against Lopez-Herrera, begging a judge to prevent him from contacting her and her three young children.
According to the woman in court on Jan. 1, Lopez-Herrera threatened to kill her with a kitchen knife and then threatened to kill himself.
“You can tell the children that you provoked me to kill myself and it was all your fault,” he is quoted in the court record.
According to the woman, Lopez-Herrera then began slamming his head into a refrigerator… then approached one of the young children, showed his injuries and said “Look what your mother did to me”.
The woman described Lopez-Herrera as “very jealous, controlling, very angry easily.”
“He has strangled me and (threatened) to kill me,” she said in court.. then went on to say she was “very scared” her children might be raised “without a mother.”
On August 7, his probation was revoked after he failed to appear in court and a warrant was issued for his arrest.
According to Allen, the Merced Sheriff’s Office is a small agency where “everybody knows everybody.”
“I mean we spend a lot of time with each other so to find out something like this has happened to one of your brothers, you know it hits us all pretty hard,” Allen said.
Police say Lopez-Herrera was last seen in the Eagle Field area, which is a private airport about eight miles southwest of Dos Palos in rural Fresno County. They say he was driving a White 2013 GMC Sierra Crew Cab, California license plate number 25599H1.
As of Wednesday night, police said that Lopez-Herrera might be hiding out in the Firebaugh area and they are describing him as armed and dangerous. They warned residents to stay away from him.
“We take it very seriously and we all want this to come to a peaceful end hopefully,” Allen said. “But we do want to take this guy into custody and that’s what we’re going to do.”
Anyone with information is asked to call the Merced County Sheriff’s Office at 209-385-7445.
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Also on Wednesday, we learned of the murder of an off-duty sergeant with the Wisconsin Department of Corrections in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
Police say she was gunned down in public after an argument began over a car accident where she was teaching her son to drive.
Police have arrested Matthew Wilks of Whitefish Bay in connection with her death.
According to reports, Sgt. Tracey Smith was heading to a clothing store on August 30. Smith had been teaching the teenage boy to drive, and so he was behind the wheel. The criminal complaint claims that as Smith’s son was making a turn, a gold van that was on the passenger side of his car cut him off and attempted to make a left turn from the wrong lane.
The two vehicles collided. Smith reportedly exited the vehicle to inspect the damage. The police report says that she became angry and was yelling at the driver of the van for his negligent driving.
That’s when Smith’s son said that he heard the other driver say, “(Expletive), I’ll kill you,” before producing a firearm and pulling the trigger. Sgt. Smith reportedly fell to the ground as the driver climbed back into his van and sped away from the scene.
Wisconsin mother killed in front of her son as driving lesson turns into road rage shooting https://t.co/SAaGjEZnlc
— CBS4 Indy (@CBS4Indy) September 4, 2019
Reports say that the teenage boy drove his mother to the hospital, but doctors were unable to save her.
The investigation into the shooting is ongoing, but police say that detectives located security camera footage of the driver’s van and license plate, which eventually led them to Wilks.
Wilks was taken into custody on September 2 and now faces charges of first degree intentional homicide as well as possession of a firearm by a felon. Court documents show that Wilks was convicted of felony possession of a firearm by a felon and possession of cocaine in Feb. 2008.
He was due in court on Wednesday.
Smith’s friends and family remembered her as a hardworking mother who would do anything for her children.
“She went to work every day,” said JoAnne Luckett. “She made a life for her and her sons. I wake up every morning and it’s like, ‘Wow. Tracey is not here.’ I hate it. I hate it. I hate the way things are in this city.”
“She’s a smiling person,” JoAnne said.
Others said the gunman was only out for blood.
“What that guy did, he just wanted to kill somebody,” said her father, Ollie Luckett. “That’s stupid. That’s crazy. She was just a wonderful person. “Easygoing.”
Sergeant Tracey Smith reportedly served the Wisconsin Department of Corrections for decades. The WI DOC say that Smith’s contributions to the state would be felt long after her passing.