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Departments : Shots Fired

Shots Fired: Oakland, California 08/27/2010

Fremont, Calif., police officer Todd Young and his partner's pursuit of an armed and dangerous gang member led to an exchange of pistol fire that seriously wounded Young.

June 13, 2012  |  by - Also by this author

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Officer Young first spotted Barrientos from this view on Auseon Avenue near this Chevy Avalanche truck. Photo: Alameda County D.A.
Officer Young first spotted Barrientos from this view on Auseon Avenue near this Chevy Avalanche truck. Photo: Alameda County D.A.

But then Barrientos looked over his shoulder. At the sight of Young closing in on him, Barrientos spun around and began point shooting directly at Young with a 9mm Glock with an extended magazine. Young felt a round tear into his hip. Young drew his .45 caliber SIG, getting off five rounds to Barrientos' 10.

Barrientos continued his rapid-fire technique, firing behind without aiming. It was crude and reckless but at that distance it was also proving effective.

I'm Hit But Not Bad

Young knew that Tang was coming up behind him on the sidewalk and would probably be engaging Barrientos. To avoid compromising either his or his partner’s safety, Young peeled off laterally to his left as his gait slowed to a tactical walk. Once at the opposite side of the street, Young proned himself out on the asphalt and tried to get a bead on the suspect whose bouncing shoulders he could see above those cars parked against the curb.

Just then, Tang pulled up abreast of his partner.

"Where is he?"

Young's answer came in the form of his aiming at the suspect and firing two more rounds as his partner dropped to one knee and let loose with three of his own. Young decided to keep a few rounds in reserve in case they got flanked by the suspect's two friends.

Barrientos disappeared around a corner some 60 yards down the street.

Young rocked up to his knees.

"I'm hit," he told Tang. "But I'm all right. You watch those guys and I'll keep an eye on the corner."

As Tang monitored the suspects' acquaintances and Young kept a look-out in case their assailant doubled back, he began applying direct pressure to his hip injury.

Police sirens wailed toward them. Throughout the incident, Tang had left his cell phone line open so that Oakland dispatch could monitor what happened. That, coupled with the shooting being captured by a Shotspotter acoustic sensor, meant that the Oakland PD knew what had happened and where. Young found himself quickly surrounded by officers, one of whom pulled out a trauma kit as another started to cut off Young’s pants. Young helped as best he could by unsnapping his drop holster and belt and handing it to one of the Oakland guys.

"I'm all right," he assured his partner again as he continued to apply direct pressure on the wound.

That wasn't good enough for an Oakland officer, nor was the lack of response he was getting on an ETA of the ambulance.

Comments (8)

Displaying 1 - 8 of 8

steve graham @ 6/14/2012 11:39 AM

Man don't beat youself up. All things considered you did an outstanding job. I'm retired military with time in combat and combat pistol and rifle instructor and I understand the stress of that situation, job well done and hang in there Partner. Great story, Thanks

Random @ 6/14/2012 3:02 PM

Sorry to hear you had some trouble. You are appreciated for your respectful attitude and professional behavior.

TripWire @ 6/14/2012 3:16 PM

Your story is as uplifting and encouraging as it is tragic. I was wounded in Afghanistan while on routine patrol and had to fight on for 30 mins. The docs said that the only reason that I survived was because I was so pissed off that I got shot. For me, the rehab was worse than getting hit, my therapist was worse than a drill sergeant. Stories like yours are what keeps us all going on man, keep up the fight.

Lt Dan @ 6/14/2012 5:52 PM

Its really tough getting a bead on a bobbing moving target, I've tried and it ain't like training or the movies! Its a natural process to second guess yourself, don't let it eat you up. If you run into another situation you'll have some additional knowledge you didn't have before.
Look at it as a learning experience. :-) Glad to hear you're recovered and back on the job.

As far as waiting for EMS, forget it. Pile into a squad car and GO!! You'll die waiting for EMS.

Sgtfriday @ 6/15/2012 5:58 AM

Sounds like they did what they had to. Glad he survived!

DEADMAN @ 6/17/2012 12:38 PM

We all second guess ourselves,especially when one of the bad guys get away,albeit only for a short time.There can also be things in the scenario that we didn't count on or figure into the equation but the important thing that matters the most was that with your survival mode working in high gear,you were able to survive and go home to your family and hold them against you,for all its worth.Glad you're on the road to a full recovery,the bad guy is in prison for life and that you still have a positive attitude.i hope you can be able to use this to help other officers in their futures,it's important that they get the information that you have to offer.
Good Luck & God Bless

Lefko @ 9/6/2012 9:54 PM

Nice work sheepdog. Way to stay with it and not give up. Thanks for your story and inspiring all of us out here. (from a northern calif copper).

eurik soto @ 9/21/2012 8:45 PM

wow amazing story, cant wait till i get through the academy and finally be an officer and get to do this.

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