ESCALON — Struggling for his life with a suspected burglar, a 31-year-old Escalon Police officer was shot with his own gun shortly after 3:30 a.m. Tuesday.
Shane Johnson, a four-year veteran of the force, was taken to surgery at Doctors Medical Center later in the day for an injury to his left shoulder, according to Police Chief Jim Shaw. The chief said Johnson appeared to be doing better after surgery noting that the injury was not life-threatening.
Shaw said that Johnson found an individual tampering with a rear door to the Rite-Aid Drug Store in the 2100 block of Jackson Avenue. When he told the man to put his hands up he was rushed without warning and a struggle for his service weapon ensued with him being shot by the suspect.
The officer first attempted to chase the man he described as possibly Hispanic and standing over six feet tall with medium-length curly hair and possibly having facial hair. He was last seen wearing a long sleeved black hoodie sweatshirt, blue jeans and white athletic shoes and knit gloves.
The officer called in his own 1199 – officer needs help – request over his radio and four patrol units responded from Ripon Police Department, five from the San Joaquin County Sheriff’s Department, and a California Highway Patrol unit.
Officers first arriving on the scene rendered first aid to the injured patrolman before he was transported by ambulance to a trauma center for what the chief described as a serious injury. They were not able to locate the suspect or the weapon, police said.
Chief Shaw said there has been a rash of commercial burglaries in his city similar to those occurring in Manteca. He noted that it appears to be the same person or persons responsible with the back doors being pried open in most every case. No burglar tools were found near the back of the store, Shaw said.
Johnson is married with three children.
Anyone with information on the suspect is urged to call the Escalon Police Department or the Stanislaus County Crime Stoppers remaining anonymous in receiving a reward. Rite-Aid Pharmacies has posted a $5,000 reward leading to the arrest of the suspect.