FRESNO, Cali. – A Fresno County sheriff’s deputy was injured during a shootout with a suspect on Tuesday but is expected to recover, according to a report from the Fresno Bee.
The shooting reportedly happened just after 11 a.m. in the 29000 block of Quail Springs Lane, south of Tollhouse in the Sierra foothills. Deputies were responding to a call regarding a property dispute. The deputy was escorting a friend on a ride along when the gun battle ensued.
Mims said the gunman shifted his gunfire from another individual at the scene toward deputies once they arrived at the scene.
The injured deputy was identified as 49-year-old John Erickson. During the firefight Erickson managed to protect the civilian that was in his cruiser. Mims said the male acquaintance sometimes accompanied Erickson on ride alongs.
After he was struck by bullets, Erickson fell against his patrol car. A group of deputies were able to carry him hundreds of yards “under horrible, awful terrain” with a broken femur to get him to a location where a helicopter could land, Mims said. Erickson was reportedly on scene for almost an hour before he was evacuated.
During the standoff the sheriff’s office was in phone contact with the suspect inside the home, and a family member was cooperating with law enforcement by providing information, Mims said.
Mims said that the alleged gunman was arrested and taken into custody following an armed standoff that lasted several hours. The suspect eventually walked out of a law enforcement surrounded home and surrendered.
Erickson was transported Community Regional Medical Center in Fresno on Tuesday afternoon where he underwent surgery, Fresno County Sheriff Margaret Mims said.
The suspect’s name was not immediately released because authorities want “authentic identification from witnesses” first, said Tony Botti, a sheriff’s office spokesman.
After the shooting, Erickson wanted to make sure no emergency personnel cut off his new boots. He never lost consciousness and is expected to make a full recovery.
“He knew he was in good hands,” Mims said, “and wanted to save his brand-new boots.”
Erickson has a wife and two children. They were able to visit him at the hospital.
Erickson has been a member of the sheriff’s office for the past 11 years.