Local

Suspect in Minkler Shootout is Dead

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Officers gathered Thursday night at two locations that have turned into grieving centers.

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Deputies, co-workers of the slain sheriff's deputy have been coming to the Fresno County Deputy Sheriff's Association to share their grief.

Law enforcement officers from throughout the valley went to a grief center at Reedley city hall for much of the day to honor the Reedley police officer mortally wounded in the shooting.

The mood here at the Deputy Sheriff's Association is one of gloom. "It's a very sad day at the Sheriff's Department," Eric Schmidt said.

It's the same mood at Reedley City Hall, where officers from Reedley and other Valley communities have come to honor Officer Javier Bejar, who was critically wounded in the shooting.

"It's just a place to come and try to get some comfort and try to reflect and get some focus on what's gone on," said Rocky Rogers, the Reedley City Manager.

A lifelong friend of the officer shared her feelings.

"It hurts really bad because someone that I grew up with someone that I've known for so long, it just hurts," Rachel Pinon said.

Officer Bejar and his wife live at the Harlan Ranch Development in Clovis. Neighbors were shocked to hear of the shooting and tell us they are coming together to try and do what they can to help.

The shooting of the two deputies and the police officer serve as a painful reminder of the dangers law enforcement officers face.

"We all know that we put our lives on the line everyday that we come to work but I don't think you're truly prepared until it happens to one of your officers," Eric Schmidt said.

The Deputy Sheriff's Association plans to remain open all night to accommodate deputies and police officers who feel the need to come together at this tragic time.

RELATED LINK:
Google Maps: Minkler, CA

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crimetracker, shooting, fresno police department, fresno county sheriff department, fresno county, local
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