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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.

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