War on law enforcement: Modesto officer shot has leg amputated after being shot repeatedly while serving warrant

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MODESTO, CA – The Modesto Police officer that was shot earlier in August while attempting to serve a warrant is reportedly in good spirits after undergoing surgery where his leg had to be amputated, according to reports.

The officer was shot twice during the incident, once in his vest and once in his right leg where his artery was struck, which the injury to his leg resulted in the aforementioned surgery.

The shooting incident happened on August 14th.

It happened while police were attempting to serve a warrant – and ended up with police pursuing a reckless driver on a motorcycle.

Authorities followed the driver of the motorcycle to a home located off of the 3100-block of East Orangeburg Avenue, which the driver surrendered to police without further incident.

While searching the reckless driving suspect, police found suspected narcotics on the suspect and later obtained a warrant to search the home where the suspect came out of when surrendering.

This is where things took a turn for the worse for Officer Michael Rokaitis, who was among the officers present to assist in serving the warrant.

Officials say that as soon as police entered the residence to execute the warrant, they were met by gunfire from 42-year-old Jesse James Brooks. Officer Rokaitis was shot once in his protective vest and another time in his right leg, which left him initially in critical condition.

In the days following the shooting, Officer Rokaitis’s wife Megan expressed concerns about the surgery her husband was facing, hoping that doctors would only need to amputate his leg below the knee to ensure he still has a wide range of mobility post-surgery.

The community and businesses in Modesto showed a large amount of support for Officer Rokaitis following the shooting, with local retail outlet Crescent Supply holding a raffle where proceeds were given to Officer Rokaitis’s family: 

“To honor Michael’s service and help his family while they stand by his side, we’re raffling off 10 $154 Gift Cards to Crescent. Gift cards are redeemable in store and on our website. 100% of all proceeds will go directly to Michael and his family.”

“Michael is a beloved MPD officer and a member of the Crescent Alumni. Michael worked here as a teen and provided so many laughs and smiles for all of us and our customers. We thank Michael, his family, and all our brave men and women in blue for their bravery and service to our communities.”

Flash forward to August 28th, and an update from the Modesto Police Department posted to Facebook noted that Officer Rokaitis’s surgery went well, and he was able to spend time with his family alongside him at the hospital to help celebrate his wife’s birthday:

“How’s this for good news!?! Officer “Mikey” Rokaitis is awake and spending time with his family celebrating his wife Megan’s birthday. Mikey is still recovering from his last surgery where his leg was amputated, but he is in good spirits.

Mikey says, [h]e doesn’t regret anything that happened one bit. He couldn’t be prouder of his team. He’s so grateful to the department, his medical team, and the community for the amount of love and support they’ve given. You got this Mikey!”

It’s unclear when Officer Rokaitis will be discharged from the hospital, considering the gravity of the surgery he underwent.

This is a developing story.

Please follow Law Enforcement Today as we continue to gather further updates on this officer’s condition.

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We at Law Enforcement Today previously reported on the incident where Officer Rokaitis, prior to his identity being shared publicly. 

Here’s that previous report from earlier in August. 

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MODESTO, CA – A Modesto Police officer is in critical condition after having been shot by a suspect while serving a late-night search warrant earlier in August. Authorities have confirmed that the suspected shooter was taken into custody.

Authorities say the chain of events that led up to the search warrant shooting started at approximately 10:00 p.m. on August 14th when an officer had spotted someone on a motorcycle recklessly driving in the area of West Orangeburg and Enslen Avenues.

The officer attempted to pull the driver of the motorcycle over, but the driver reportedly fled.

The Stanislaus County Sheriff’s Department’s assisted with tracking down the driver of the motorcycle, with the department’s helicopter spotting and following the suspect to a residence within the 3100-block of East Orangeburg Avenue.

After police had arrived on the scene of the home where the alleged reckless driver went inside of, officials say that the suspect came out of the house and surrendered – seemingly without incident.

While taking the suspect into custody, officers had searched the suspect and found that he was in possession of narcotics that investigators believe were for the purposes of sale – thus, authorities opted to obtain a search warrant for the house he came out of.

At approximately 11:30 p.m., police obtained a warrant for the home and made their way inside of it. However, as soon as officers entered the home, officials say that 42-year-old Jesse James Brooks open fire on officers.

One officer, identified as Officer Michael Rokaitis, was shot and injured during the incident. Officials say that he was transported to an area hospital and underwent surgery. Officer Rokaitis was last cited as being in critical but stable condition following surgery.

Police say that officers on scene during the serving of the warrant returned fire on Brooks, where he was non-fatally injured. Brooks reportedly received treatment at an area hospital and has since been released to police custody.

Brooks has since been charged with three counts of attempted murder of a peace officer, with an added firearm enhancement, one count of felon in possession of a firearm, and one count of prohibited person in possession of ammunition.

Bail for the defendant has been set at $4.5 million.

This is an ongoing investigation. 

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

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Report: Partner of murdered Officer Ella French transferred to rehab, paralyzed and missing an eye

(Originally published August 24th, 2021)

CHICAGO, IL – Chicago Police Officer Carlos Yanez Jr., who was left paralyzed and without an eye after being shot alongside fallen Officer Ella French, has been transferred to a rehab facility, according to reports.

While Officer Yanez still has a long road to recovery, Superintendent David Brown remarked his move to rehab serves as a “major step in his recovery process.”

During the August 7th traffic stop that resulted in Officer French being killed, Officer Yanez was the second officer on-scene during the stop that also shot.

After being struck three times during the incident, Officer Yanez was left partially paralyzed and lost his right eye.

Officer Yanez’s father, a former Chicago Police officer himself, said that there are still complications with removing some of the bullets from his son:

“They operated three times. They still can’t get the bullets out, but he’s still fighting. He’s still trying to live for his son – 3-year-old son, Carlos III.”

Yanez Sr. said that he’d spoken with his son mere minutes before he was shot on the evening of August 7th:

“He said, ‘I love you Dad.’ ‘All right, love you son.’ Then, 20 minutes later, I get that call.”

Officer Yanez’s father credits the third officer who was on the scene during the night of the shooting, Officer Josh Blas, with saving his son’s life:

“Josh – the third officer – Blas, I believe saved my son in responding the way he did, and got Ella as fast to the hospital and Junior as fast to the hospital as he could. My brothers in blue, and sisters, I thank you. Please be safe. Godspeed.”

Superintendent Brown noted that Officer Yanez “still has a long road ahead” regarding his recovery, but is pleased to see that his condition is starting to improve:

“He still has a long road ahead, but we are grateful for the progress he is making. Please continue to keep him and his family, and the French family, in your thoughts and prayers. Also, let’s keep Ella’s and Carlos’ partner and all CPD officers in your prayers as well.”

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