Shots fired during police ride-along in California

Fresno, Calif. (KGPE) — What began as a police chase for a suspect that wouldn’t turn over turned into an extremely violent ordeal. Madera police lieutenant Gino Chiaramonte said, “Three rounds hit the vehicle; two of them hit the windshield. And the third round struck the rear passenger tire which blew it out and that’s kind of how the vehicle got disabled and couldn’t continue.”

Chiaramonte said at least 14 shots were fired from an AR-15-style pistol. The gun and the suspects’ car were abandoned not too far from where the chase began.

Either one of those bullets could have hit the officer or the female civilian. The woman had been on the ride along to learn more about policing. “By the grace of god and the man above, physical injuries are basically none. she obviously had some scratches or minor injuries from the glass shards, but other than that, the physical ailments, there are none,” said Lt. Chiaramonte.

Chiaramonte wouldn’t release the officer’s name but says he had recently graduated from the academy and had only been on his own for two weeks. The police department praised the officer for his calm demeanor, especially while having a civilian passenger in the car. “Heroic under gun fire – new officer, went through his training, did extremely well. We’re so proud of him.”

Investigators say they do have some leads on suspects and the white Mazda SUV was stolen from Fresno County.

As for the officer involved — he has been placed on paid administrative leave to recover from the incident.

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