VIDEO: Shots Fired: Oakland, Calif., Carjacking
Once he reached his compatriot, Barrientos reloaded his Glock, packed a bag of shirts, socks, and toothpaste, and headed toward the U.S.-Mexico border. Police located Barrientos' cell phone in San Diego near the San Ysidro port of entry by 3 p.m. the day after the shooting. His exact location was still unknown.
San Diego police sergeant Jason Wheedon received a description of Barrientos and the vehicle. He then printed out about 20 fliers of Barrientos' driver's license and headed into the area to search for him.
Wheedon exited the freeway at Camino De La Plaza, the last off-ramp before the Mexican border, where nearly 20,000 people cross a day. It was at a red light that Sgt. Wheedon looked up into his rearview mirror and spotted a familiar face riding shotgun in a gray Camaro.
"The passenger was Barrientos," Wheedon says. "He was sitting there with a white hoodie. I looked down at my stack of papers and said, 'That's going to be him.'"
Wheedon maneuvered behind the Camaro and ran the plate. A dispatcher informed him the vehicle was registered to an Oakland address. Wheedon tailed the Camaro into the parking lot and positioned his patrol car behind the suspect vehicle.
Barrientos exited the vehicle.
Wheedon called out to the suspect. "I said, 'Barrientos,' and he looked at me," Wheedon says. "I drew my weapon and told him, 'Don't move and turn away.' He complied and raised his hands."
Months of Pain
Young spent seven weeks at Highland, and endured eight surgeries. The initial surgery stopped the bleeding. Once he was stabilized, doctors used the sedative drug Versed to induce a coma to allow his body to heal. A second surgery repaired his bladder. A third addressed damage to his rectum.
The trauma to Young's body from the shooting and the surgery was severe. For seven weeks, he was hooked up to a colostomy bag to catch his waste. He took his nutrition through a feeding tube. And once he came out of a coma, Young had to learn to walk again.
Nearly two months after the shooting, Young was discharged from the hospital and went home to the care of his wife, son (now 10), and daughter (now 6). But his visits to the doctor weren't over, as he went through a colostomy reversal surgery in February 2011.
Young rehabbed; Barrientos went to trial. And with the help of Young's testimony, the prosecutors won their case. On November 2011, a jury found Barrientos guilty of attempted murder of a police officer. In late December, an Alameda County judge gave the gang member two life terms.
Young's rehabilitation has been grueling. At first he had to relearn how to walk. He can now run a 12-minute mile and has added strength training. Running longer distances is harder on his hips and he still gets a numb foot, but in January, he ran the obstacle course used for the Fremont PD's SWAT qualification under the supervision of a physical therapist.
"I started lifting weights and getting strong because I didn't want to be that officer who pulled up on a car stop to help you, and then you say, 'Oh, he's hurt. He's going to be more of a liability than anything.'"
Young's tenth and final surgery was conducted earlier this year. The stitches of his abdominal incision had ripped out when he struggled to wake up from the coma. In January, a surgeon at Stanford University Medical Center used pig mesh and a skin graft to hold his stomach in place.
When told of the procedure, Young joked, "So you're going to put pig into a pig?"
Young cracks jokes to deal with his medical issues, but he is as determined as they come. Doctors informed him he has recovered to about 60-70% of what he was physically before the shooting.
He takes physical therapy under the direction of Dr. Chris Chung at the South Bay Sports and Preventative Medicine clinic.
Young plans to return to light duty in August in an administrative role. He keeps working toward his goal of returning to the regional task force and Fremont PD SWAT team, a feat that will require him to pass the agency's grueling SWAT training. Young has circled early 2013 on his calendar. That's when he hopes to test his mettle.
"Even though my doctor said I'll be 60% of what I was, my body will continue to heal and get stronger," Young says. "My body will compensate. I will be able to do all the stuff I need to do."
Shots Fired: Oakland, California 08/27/2010
Returning To Duty: Todd Young (photos)
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