Courts & Crime

Second officer on life support after wild California shootout

FRESNO, Calif. — A gunman killed a detective and wounded two other officers east of the small California town of Sanger on Thursday, prompting a seven-hour standoff that ended when authorities found the suspect dead inside a mobile home.

The shootout drew hundreds of armor-clad officers from Fresno, Clovis and other police agencies flooding into the tiny community of Minkler. Authorities set up roadblocks on Highway 180, cleared the local airspace, locked down a nearby school and evacuated residents.

One of the wounded men was Reedley, Calif., police officer Javier Bejar, about 28. Bejar was on "non-recoverable life support," said Reedley City Manager Rocky Rogers.

Fresno County Sheriff Margaret Mims did not name the two victims from her department, including the veteran detective who died. She said the injured deputy was in stable condition and is expected to recover.

The slain detective was reported to have been shot in the side. Bejar suffered a head wound. The other deputy had a shoulder wound. Both injured men were at Community Regional Medical Center in Fresno.

The suspect is Ricky Liles, 51, of Minkler, according to property records, neighbors and one local official. Sheriff's officials would not confirm his identity.

The suspect's body was discovered about 5 p.m. inside the mobile home where the incident took place. A woman, believed to be Liles' wife, had emerged from the home about one hour earlier and was being questioned by the Fresno Police Department, which is investigating the incident at the sheriff's request.

Mims said she did not know whether the man shot himself or died during the exchange of gunfire with officers.

The scene Thursday morning in the historic rural enclave was dangerous and chaotic.

Read the full story at

Related stories from McClatchy DC