Calif. Cop Had Wife on Phone During Shootout

An off-duty Fresno officer was on the phone with his wife when a gang member began shooting at him.

Fresno County Sheriff's deputies joined the chase about 30 minutes after the shooting. Dyer said the sheriff's office received a call from Rangel's aunt saying he was in the area of Manning Avenue and Highway 99 south of Fresno suffering from a stomach problem -- that's all Rangel told his aunt. Arriving deputies found Rangel at the scene and when they helped him from a van, a bullet rolled out of his clothing. Deputies traced the license number of the van and determined it came from the same home as the Civic.

Officers are still looking for the fourth man and the car.

Dyer praised the officer, who he said "acted heroically." He added that if the officer had not been armed, he would not be alive Tuesday.

The chief expressed concern because it was unlikely that Burciaga and Rangel could have known their target, in plain clothes and driving his own car, was a police officer. That poses a threat not just to police, but to everyone in the city, he indicated.

Dyer called the actions of Burciaga and Rangel "absolutely intolerable," and had a warning for the Bulldog gang:

"Starting today, we're going to be doing things differently.

"We're going to take away their anonymity. We're going to do search warrants and it's not going to stop. This was an off-duty police officer, but it could have been anybody."

Copyright 2013 - The Fresno Bee

McClatchy-Tribune News Service

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