FRESNO (CBSLA.com/AP) — Two veteran correctional officers are hospitalized after being shot in the lobby of a central California county jail Saturday.
The Fresno County Sheriff’s Office says the officers are shot in the head and neck areas.
Juanita Davila, an 18-year veteran, is listed in critical but stable condition. Toamalama Scanlan, a 10-year-vet, is listed in critical.
Sheriff’s spokesman Tony Botti says one suspect is in custody. The suspect has been identified as 37-year-old Thong Vang of Fresno.
Officials said Vang is a known gang member, sex offender and parolee. In 1998, they said he was sentenced to 19 years in prison on multiple rape charges involving victims aged 14 and under. Authorities said he served 16 years of his sentence and was released in 2014. He had not had any criminal violations they know of until Saturday.
Vang reportedly entered the lobby just after 8:30 a.m.
Officials said the lobby was filled with about 15 visitors, including children.
Vang allegedly tried to cut to the front of the visitation line but was told by an officer to wait his turn. Witnesses said Vang then began to show signs of bizarre behavior, including pacing back and forth near a metal detector.
Davila and Scanlan attempted to confront Vang and told him to take a seat. Witnesses said he refused and pulled out the handgun and a struggle ensued with him and the officers.
Another officer fired back at Vang. Authorities said they also used a Taser to try to subdue him but it was ineffective Vang ran into an unlocked room
Responding deputies and a Fresno Police officer ordered him to surrender.
Vang was taken into custody after being transported to the hospital for treatment of minor scrapes and cuts.
If anyone has any further information about suspect Vang, they’re asked to call the Sheriff’s Office at (559) 600-3111.
The investigation is ongoing, officials said.
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