SAN BERNARDINO (CBSLA.com) — Three men were charged Tuesday in connection with a shooting that left San Bernardino police Officer Gabriel Garcia in critical condition.
CBS2’s Jeff Nguyen spoke with officials at a news conference held by the San Bernardino County District Attorney.
According to the District Attorney’s Office, Jonathan Contreras, 20; Orlando Cruz, 24; and Gonzalo Medina, 22, were charged with two counts each of attempted murder of a peace officer and one count each of possession of an assault weapon.
District Attorney Mike Ramos did not give details of the suspects’ involvement; however, he said he wouldn’t tolerate violence against law enforcement.
“If you aid and abet or conspire with another person to shoot a police officer, or any other person, you will be held accountable to the fullest extent of the law,” Ramos said. “Even if you don’t pull the trigger.”
Garcia, 31, and a new officer trainee were patrolling the 1900 block of Garner Avenue just after 2 a.m. Friday to “check on some individuals,” Lt. Rich Lawhead said.
As soon as officers approached a group of six people, 38-year-old Alex Alvarado started shooting at the officers, detectives said.
Investigators said the guns used in the shootout by Alvarado were a handgun with no markings on it and an AK-47.
Alvarado, who was shot by Garcia’s partner, was transferred to a hospital, where he later died.
Garcia was shot once in the head and twice to his upper body. The handgun is believed to have critically injured Garcia, authorities said.
He remains in a medically induced coma at the Arrowhead Regional Medical Center.
“This is very, very difficult for the family,” said San Bernardino Police Chief Jarrod Burguan. “The family has not left his side, and they are being as optimistic as they can possibly be under the circumstances.”
All three defendants are scheduled to be arraigned Wednesday in San Bernardino.
If convicted, they can face a maximum sentence of life in state prison, according to the District Attorney’s Office.