A 51-year-old Dos Palos, CA, man accused of shooting a Merced County, CA, sheriff's deputy was captured Thursday following a nearly hour-long high-speed chase. The sheriff said the man was in the country illegally and the agency had been unable to turn him over to ICE earlier this year because of politics, reports the Merced Sun-Star.
According to Merced County Sheriff Vern Warnke, the suspect Guadalupe Lopez-Herrera fired one shot at California Highway Patrol officers before he was apprehended after the chase ended in Kettleman City on Thursday afternoon. During a news conference Thursday, Warnke also revealed Lopez-Herrera was in the country illegally and had threatened the lives of his wife's family.
The detective, whose name has not been released, was shot just before 3:30 p.m. Wednesday in the vest and the leg. Investigators were following up on a domestic violence report from the weekend.
"We had him in our custody in January of this year, and because of the folks in Sacramento limiting our ability to cooperate with ICE, we could not turn him over," Warnke said. "This kind of rings of what happened to Ronil Singh in Newman.
"Not only has this guy been a proven danger prior to this incident, the attempted murder of one of my sergeants, the attempted murder of a California Highway Patrol officer because of this when he should have been not in this country and placed back in the country of origin."
The wounded detective was taken to an area hospital with non-life-threatening injuries, Deputy Daryl Allen said. The detective was shot just above the knee and is "recovering well," according to Warnke.