Reporting Andrea Menniti
ESCALON (CBS13) – A local cop was shot with his own gun today. He says he surprised a burglar who shot him in the shoulder during a struggle. Now a $5,000 reward is being offered to find the shooter.
The only officer patrolling the streets of Escalon found himself face-to-face with a brazen burglar.
“They fought over his weapon and one round discharged and struck the officer,” said Escalon Police Department Chief Jim Shawn.
Chief Shaw says the five-year veteran was patrolling the strip mall and noticed a suspicious man. Just as the officer approached, investigators say the burglar rushed him. During the struggle, the burglar got his hands on the officer’s gun and fired. One bullet hit the officer in the shoulder.
“He did suffer a gun shot wound which is serious, but it’s not life threatening,” said Chief Shawn.
After pulling the trigger, the shooter disappeared into the darkness. Neighbors heard the commotion.
“It’s way out of control,” said Bob, a neighbor.
“What they are doing is wrong. What would they think if it happened to their parents or mother father?” said a neighbor.
Police say the shooter may be responsible for a recent burglary spree involving more than a dozen businesses in the past six weeks alone.
Thieves continue to target a Rite Aid in the strip mall for its pricey prescription drugs. Investigators released pictures of burglars who’ve struck around town, but say it’s too soon to know if a man wanted for another burglary is also responsible for this shooting.
The nail salon next to the pharmacy has seen its fair share of crime, but no one suspected a bad guy would shoot an officer.
“To have a cop shot, they’re just getting desperate and gutsy and it’s tough for people,” said Jackie Dronkes, a nail salon customer.
Rite Aid is offering money for the arrest of the suspect. So far, no suspect info has been released.