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Mark Rivera

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Mark Rivera, Customer Retention Manager and CJIS Security Compliance Officer with Vigilant Solutions, served for sixteen years with the Maryland State Police, retiring at the rank of First Sergeant with thirteen of those years at the supervisory and command level. He holds a Master of Science Degree in Management from The Johns Hopkins University and Secret clearance through the FBI, Baltimore.

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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The sidewalk where Oakland officers performed trauma care on Officer Young. Photo: Alameda County D.A.
The sidewalk where Oakland officers performed trauma care on Officer Young. Photo: Alameda County D.A.

"We're taking you," he said, and with that Young was loaded into a patrol car and transported to the hospital.

Hemmorhage

The ensuing ride was a wild one, one that scared Young more than the shooting. As the car rocked back and forth with each hairpin turn, an Oakland officer used gauze to put direct pressure on Young's wound.

As Young lay in the back of the patrol unit, he seethed. Pissed off that he'd gotten shot, he was even angrier that he hadn't been able to return the favor to his assailant. That and the fact that the man had apparently made good his escape.

Still, he was a good less worried than he thought he would have been. Just getting loaded into the car had been a lift in more ways than one. The sight of an assembled trauma team in the Highland Hospital ER parking lot dissipated any anxieties that much further.

A doctor took Young's vitals and showed him where the bullet entry and exit wounds were. Initially, doctors estimated that Young would be out of the hospital in two hours.

But during a CT scan he began hemorrhaging and they soon found that his body was very nearly depleted of blood: His iliac artery had been hit.

Doctors saved Young’s life. But the road to recovery Young would face would be as steep as it would be long.

The Shooter

Barrientos made good his escape—for a day. One reason that Barrientos was able to evade capture even that long was that he'd worn a white hoodie beneath his black hoodie, a common practice among gang members.

He discarded the first hoodie after dumping a car that he'd stolen in a carjacking seconds after the shoot-out. Investigators looked in nearby garbage cans and found the hoodie that matched the one he had been wearing. The DNA on the garment belonged to Barrientos. The hoodie had one bullet hole in it.

After fleeing to Southern California, Barrientos was arrested by a San Diego police sergeant near the Mexican border a day following the shooting. He was ultimately convicted of attempted murder and nine other felonies and sentenced to life in prison.

Young and Tang have since discussed their frustration in not being able to take the man down.

"Because I had failed to take him down, two additional people got shot at [during subsequent carjack attempts]. That really bothered me. I felt that I hadn’t done my job," Young says.

Even so, with rounds bouncing off of a wrought iron fence to his right and cars to his left, and limited ammunition in his magazine, Young believes there wasn't much else he and Tang could have done.

"I was trying to pick up my front sights on every shot," recalls Young. "But cops can have a hard time just hitting a stationary target. It’s that much harder trying to hit something when it's moving, you’re moving, and you've been shot. I knew he got lucky with that first shot. He didn’t kick my ass. I didn’t feel like I lost the gunfight. It was like the guy who sucker punches you and runs away. He didn’t stand his ground. But I feel terrible that I was trying to shoot this guy and put him down, but he got away."


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