COLTON (CBSLA.com) — A California Department of Corrections officer is fighting for his life after reportedly being shot in the head Thursday evening in Colton.
Tom Dennie, 52, was shot multiple times while pumping gas at a Shell station.
It is unclear if the off-duty officer was the victim of random violence or targeted, but Riverside police said two suspects — including a parolee — were in custody in connection with the shooting.
The suspects — identified as Christopher Marquez and Anthony Gomez, both 24 — are reported gang members and officials said they are facing attempted murder charges.
Dennie, who was also reportedly shot in the leg, is recovering at Arrowhead Medical Center.
Greg Mills, reporting for KCAL9, spoke to the victim’s step son and said Dennie was “doing good.” He opened his eyes late this morning and gave the stepson “a thumbs up sign.”
A neighbor told Mills that Dennie is married and has several stepchildren. The neighbor said, “He is nice to everybody.”
A witness to the shooting feared for his own safety and chose to remain off-camera. He said Dennie was shot multiple times and saw him collapse after trying to flee the suspects.
On KCAL9 News at 10 p.m Friday, Adrianna Weingold reported Dennie was in “critical but stable condition.”
When asked if Dennie was targeted because of his job, officials refused to comment because they didn’t want to compromise their investigation, reported Weingold.