ELK GROVE, Calif. (CBS13) — Authorities are offering few details about how a suspect was shot inside the back of a police cruiser early Sunday morning.

The Elk Grove Police Department said they received a call from a woman shortly after 2 a.m. reporting that her husband had been drinking and had attacked her.

“We got into a little argument, I called for help,” said Nicole Hesselbien.

Police said Hesselbien told them 32-year-old John Hesselbein had assaulted her earlier in the evening and then tried to smash in her car windows when she pulled into the driveway of their home on the 8600 block of Callippe Way.

After initially refusing to cooperate with authorities, John surrendered to Elk Grove officers.

When the suspect became belligerent and loud while restrained in the back of a patrol car, officers opened the door to subdue him. For reasons that police have not released, one of the officers fired a single round from his department-issued rifle, cutting a gash in the suspect’s face.

“He was handcuffed, he didn’t have a weapon, he wasn’t violent,” Nicole said. “I was standing, watching the whole thing. He was fidgety, he wouldn’t listen. Is that a reason?”

Elk Grove authorities said an initial investigation shows the officer did not fire the gun on accident.

“At this point, we’re not sure what the officer perceived and hopefully during the investigation we will get more information,” said Officer Chris Trim.

Nicole said she is relieved her husband was not seriously injured during the incident.

“[The officer] could have caused me to lose my husband, my family would be torn apart,” she said.

The officer, a three-year veteran of the force, is on administrative leave while authorities investigate the incident.

John Hesselbein is facing domestic violence charges and other charges stemming from an alleged assault on an officer at the hospital.

Comments (85)
  1. pics123 says:

    These are the kind of people we pay for with our tax dollars?

    I hope this is a lesson to you people out there who believe everything you hear and read in other cases the cops are involved in.
    Too bad. There are some good cops left out there. But I sure would like to know where…..

  2. justice says:

    Lets not jump to judge..

  3. MtnHseGurl says:

    There’s actually 2 different things within this article. Most cops have a “God-like” complex, regardless if they are “good or bad”. UNTIL the “bad ones” are caught/go tooo far — they keep doing these things to citizens and making excuses. I think all law enforcement should have small video cameras on them, like San Jose Police has recently done. That way, maybe EVERYONE could be accountable for their actions! I know LOTS of honest, wonderful law-enforcement officers! I also know BAD ones too! Too bad someone didn’t record this! That way, we could judge what happened without other perceptions getting in the way of the facts! That officer WAS a “rookie” still, but I am not sure if I believe that he was JUST squirming! He assaulted another cop & damaged stuff at the hospital afterward! He obviously has an extremely horrible temper!

    I find it SAD that the wife was saying that “it could tear her family apart if he was killed”. That would be sad, BUT he “had assaulted her earlier in the evening and then tried to smash in her car windows when she pulled into the driveway of their home”! I mean, COME ON! He was drunk and beat on her! SHE feared for her life OBVIOUSLY since she called the cops! HE will one day kill her in his drunken abusive rages! She won’t leave now, since she smelled a lawsuit & some big money!

  4. theresa says:

    the guy probly had cop in head lock with his legs and cop had to shoot to get him to release the pressure on his neck….

  5. Emain says:

    There is always someone complaining about incidents like these and incorporate “our tax dollars” into the conversation.

    What a terrible situation, a man almost died; who cares about tax dollars?

  6. Speedkills says:

    Things just don’t make sense anymore. Cops are all equipped with a belt full of gadgets to subdue criminals and for some reason it seems like they make their firearms a first priority. There is really no excuse for this shooting, because the officer pulled out a freaking assault rifle to shoot this man. I think we should incorporate better psychological tests before we license these cops to carry a deadly weapon.

  7. SNOWBIRD says:

    The officer just had a bad day. He is going to have a few more.

  8. Hereticmonk says:

    If this cop wasn’t disarmed, thrown to the ground, handcuffed, tazered, taken to jail and booked, given his one phone call, and made bail, it’s already been favoritism shown towards him. If any one of us had shot someone in the face in front of a cop, by accident or not, that is what would happen to us. If it didn’t happen to that cop, which I’m sure it didn’t, it shows how differently cops treat civilians compared to other cops.

  9. great says:

    Little do you all know. His charges were dropped yesterday at his court appearence. He’s out running like a free man. Now thats justice.

    1. Speedkills says:

      The cop? or the man?

      1. great says:

        Mr. Hesselbien

  10. Mike says:

    You mean dirtbag Hesselbein……dude beats his wife, resists arrest, and looks like a tweaker dirtbag. I just call them the way I see them.

  11. Speedkills says:

    Wow thats very judgmental and very ignorant. Some people just will never get it.

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