Several Fontana Police Department officers and dispatchers were honored by the City Council recently for their work in responding to a tragic and frightening situation which took place in the southern area of the city earlier this year.
On March 28 at 1:40 a.m., the Fontana P.D. received multiple reports of shots being fired in a Southridge neighborhood. Dispatch started processing the incoming calls and dispatching officers simultaneously.
Due to the high volume of calls coming in reporting similar circumstances throughout the neighborhood, it was apparent a lone gunman was wandering the streets, knocking on doors and randomly firing an assault rifle.
In addition to telling officers the location of the gunman, a call came in indicating there was a victim of multiple gunshot wounds inside a residence, with a family member giving CPR to the victim. The gunman had allegedly shot the victim and then left the house and started disturbing the neighbors.
Once officers were on scene, officers engaged the gunman and shots were fired.
"During the entire incident, every officer responding remained calm and demonstrated an extremely high degree of professionalism and courage," said Police Chief Billy Green.
Officers immediately formulated a sound tactical plan and were able to safely approach the suspect and force him to surrender without any officers or the suspect getting hurt, Green said.
Once the suspect was taken into custody and secured, officers quickly focused on locating the victim. Once the victim was located inside the residence, lifesaving efforts were immediately started. The officers worked together to provide first aid to the victim, check the area for additional victims or suspects, and provide security for responding paramedics.
Officers were required to secure an extremely large crime scene that spanned an entire residential block and contained numerous pieces of evidence. Officers were also assigned to interview witnesses, escort the victim’s family members to the station, and provide security for the victim, who was taken to a hospital but later died as a result of the gunshot wounds.
The suspect was found to be an 18-year-old man who had allegedly killed his 51-year-old mother, according to police reports.
During the entire incident, the dispatchers remained calm and only broadcast pertinent information over the police radio, Green said. Additional radio discipline was exercised when officers broadcast that shots were fired. Keeping the radio traffic clear for officers to tactically maneuver and to direct additional responding officers was critical to taking the armed suspect into custody without injury to any officer, citizen, or the suspect, Green said.
"This incident was an extremely volatile and stressful event that involved many different components which were handled with the utmost professionalism. The performances of the dispatchers and officers were second to none," Green said.
Officers Ron Brunn, Dustin Cook, Katie Beebe, David Goodland, Danny Wells, Ryan Windell, Giovanni Hernandez, Jon Gearhart, Joshua Nassar, and Jacob Rainey; Dispatch Shift Supervisor Amy Blessinger; and Dispatchers Tina Sanchez, Anissa Scheer, Teddy Boucher, McKenzie Burton, and Call Taker Angelica Padilla were all named April Employees of the Month.