SAN DIEGO, CA – Still not convinced there’s a war on cops in this country?
Hardly a week goes by that a law enforcement professional isn’t physically assaulted while on duty somewhere and this week the focus is on an unprovoked attack along a major freeway in San Diego.
On Wednesday, a seven-year veteran of the California Highway Patrol was attacked and shot as he was assisting a motorist who had crashed his car on the heavily traveled Interstate 8 in San Diego.
Tony Pacheco was shot in his right thigh after the driver of the wrecked car lunged at him in an “unprovoked attack” and tried to take his gun, CHP officials said Thursday. The gun fired once during a struggle between the two men, wounding Pacheco.
The man who authorities said attacked Pacheco has been identified as 25-year-old Yuhao Du of San Diego. He now faces charges of first-degree attempted murder, assaulting a police officer with a firearm, taking an officer’s firearm and causing great bodily injury, authorities said.
GOOD CITIZENS: Bystanders in San Diego detained a man that shot a CHP Trooper and provided aid to the Trooper.pic.twitter.com/MV6YpMEfy3
— Katie Daviscourt🇺🇸 (@KatieDaviscourt) April 29, 2022
Du was arrested at about 6:30 p.m., shortly after the shooting on the eastbound side of Interstate 8 in the Mission Valley area, CHP Capt. Michael Harris said during a press conference Wednesday evening.
While Pacheco’s name is added to an ever-growing list of officers being attacked, this story also proves that there are countless people in America who support police and are willing to assist when an officer is in trouble.
Harris told the media that Du was taken into custody through the extraordinary assistance of other drivers who stopped when they saw the roadside battle.
The shooting happened as Pacheco approached Du as he stood in the center median in front of his car. Du was the only person involved in the wreck.
When Pacheco got near Du, he “suddenly attacked the officer,” according to CHP. The driver tried to grab Pacheco’s gun and the officer fought back, struggling to hold onto his weapon. During that fight, the gun fired once, hitting Pacheco in the leg.
In a news conference late Thursday afternoon, CHP said that it remained unclear who fired the pistol during during the struggle.
Pacheco was taken to Scripps Mercy Hospital in Hillcrest, where he was initially listed in “serious but stable” condition. He has since been upgraded to “stable,” CHP Capt. Taylor Cooper said.
The CHP praised the passing motorists who stepped in to help Pacheco after he was disabled by the gunshot wound. The CHP issued a press release thanking them:
“Several passing motorists stopped to assist the injured officer by providing medical aid and restraining Du until additional law enforcement arrived.”
CHP Chief Scott Parker also wrote:
“I am extremely grateful for the members of the public who put themselves in harms way to help our officer after he was shot in the leg. This incident could have ended in a greater tragedy had those individuals not intervened. … Our thoughts and prayers are with the officer and his family as he recovers from his injuries.”
A video of the Good Samaritans at work was posted to social media on Thursday. In it, one group of men appears to be holding the suspect at knifepoint while another group renders aid to Pacheco before California Highway Patrol troopers arrived on scene.
Capt. Cooper said he visited Pacheco at the hospital Wednesday night and found that he was in a lot of pain but in good spirits. Cooper said Pacheco was very grateful for the public’s assistance and for the response from law enforcement. He is expected to be released from the hospital in a day or two, Cooper said, adding:
“Tony is very lucky to survive. Without the public, this may have [had] a different outcome.”
The San Diego Police Officers Association, a union representing local officers, shared a GoFundMe campaign for Pacheco on Thursday that has surpassed its $25,000 goal with a total so far of $27,215.
The fundraiser’s organizer, Marc Hale, wrote that:
“His injuries will require a lengthy rehabilitation and potential surgeries.”
Hale added that the funds will pay for childcare costs, meals and transportation for Pacheco’s family members while he is off the job and rehabilitating.
Officer Pacheco wrote a message on the page to his supporters:
“My wife and I are humbled and grateful for the outpouring of support we have received. We’d like to thank everyone who has assisted us during this difficult time. From the donors, to the hospital staff, coworkers, friends, family, law enforcement, and everyone who assisted on scene. Thank you for all the love and support.”
Capt. Cooper said police are investigating whether mental health issues, drugs or alcohol played a part in Du’s attack on the officer. Anyone with information about the shooting is urged to call CHP Investigative Services at 858-650-3620.
War on cops continues: Arizona deputy paralyzed after being stabbed in spinal cord by teen with scissors
March 27, 2022
PIMA COUNTY, AZ – A Pima County sheriff’s deputy was stabbed several times in the spine while responding to a call from a male who threatened to kill law enforcement officers.
Now the suspect is dead after another deputy shot him to stop the vicious assault.
On March 12, the Pima County Sheriff’s Department (PCSD) received a 911 call from a male who was later identified as 17-year-old Zakareya Ibrahim, KGUN9 reported.
Tucson police: Teen boy stabbed deputy's spine, face before another deputy killed him Pima County Sheriff's Department Deputy Taylor Dunn killed 17-year-old Zakareya Ibrahim after Ibrahim repeatedly stabbed Deputy Eduardo Toral. https://t.co/Ve2UIpLl57
— Annika Crawford (@AnnikaC28927272) March 21, 2022
The Pima Regional Critical Incident Team (PRCIT) said in the initial 911 report, the unidentified caller made several threats including “… I want to kill all you… I have scissors,” according to the report.
“Deputies arrived at the 3900 block of S. Rocky Peak Court just after 6:50 p.m. where the suspect, Zakareya Ibrahim, allegedly stabbed a one-year veteran of the PCSD Deputy Eduardo Toral, multiple times.
“According to PRCIT, prior to the stabbing, Ibrahim threw rocks at Toral’s patrol vehicle as he arrived.
“Toral gave several commands and asked Ibrahim to show his hands but [the suspect] ignored the commands.
“Ibrahim approached Toral through the open driver’s side door and stabbed Toral with a pair of scissors until another deputy, Taylor Dunn, arrived at the scene and shot Ibrahim.”
AZ Central reported:
“Ibrahim then repeatedly stabbed the deputy, severely damaging his spinal cord, face and shoulder before another deputy shot Ibrahim.
“Deputies rendered aid to Ibrahim and the deputy, though Ibrahim was later declared deceased at the scene.
“The media release included a picture of a pair of scissors discovered at the scene, though Tucson Police, which is handling the criminal investigation into the shooting, refused to specify whether they were the weapon involved in the stabbing.
“The injured deputy has been identified as Eduardo Toral, a one-year veteran of the Pima County Sheriff’s Department.
“The deputy who shot and killed Ibrahim was identified as Taylor Dunn — a three-year veteran.”
Pima County Sheriff Chris Nanos spoke with KOLD News and suggested mental health may have played a role in this situation. The sheriff said:
″We still struggle with how we handle mental health. My personal belief is that dealing with mental health — that disorder — should not be a law enforcement function. There are people who are better equipped.”
Sheriff Nanos confirms that 17-year-old Zakareya Ibrahim was dealing with mental health issues when he called 911 Saturday night. https://t.co/2CG0Phwqad
— Mikala Novitsky (@MikaIaNovitsky) March 16, 2022
Sheriff Nanos also confirmed that the suspect was dealing with mental health issues when he called 911 Saturday night.
The sheriff told KOLD News that they have a crisis response team to handle mental health cases, but he believes the deputy on scene may not have had time to make that call:
“This thing happened so fast and unfolded so quickly, literally that young officer was in a fight for his life and did all he could, which was very little to prevent this from happening.”
The sheriff also noted that things need to change when it comes to handling mental health calls and that he extended condolences to Ibrahim’s family.
KOLD News spoke with neighbors of the suspect.
One neighbor, who asked to remain anonymous, told the news station:
″I would say there were four shots maybe five at the most. So I didn’t think too much about it and then I heard immediately afterward a blood-curdling scream. It was the most awful scream.”
The neighbor also said he always greeted the family whenever he saw them. The morning after the shooting, he spoke with the suspect’s father and recalled:
″He was very distraught obviously and he was telling me, ‘Not a good day. My boy was killed last night.’ It floored me because I know the kid.”
In this report, KOLD News did not include additional feedback from community members or acquaintances who are familiar with the severely injured deputy.
However, the news station pointed out that Ibrahim’s family is originally from Sudan and that they came to Tucson in 2012 and had close ties with the Refugee Resource Center, which helped them adapt to life in the U.S.
Co-director Randiesia Fletcher told KOLD News:
″We’re very sad about Zakareya Ibrahim passing away. He was one of the young boys in the community that we watched grow.”
KOLD News reported:
“The Refugee Resource Center as well as Ibrahim’s family are still hoping to uncover everything that happened the night he died.
“Sheriff Nanos says Deputy Eduardo Toral, who was stabbed with a pair of scissors, is still in serious condition, struggling with paralysis.
“The deputy who shot and killed Ibrahim has been identified as Taylor Dunn, a 3-year veteran of the department. The case is now being investigated by the newly-formed Pima Regional Critical Incident Team.”
Violence disruptors have been touted as a solution to reduce overall criminal violence.
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