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Deputy undergoes reconstructive surgery after being shot in the face

January 13, 2011 |  3:02 pm

The Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputy who was shot in the face by an East L.A. gang member came out of sedation Thursday after the first of several planned surgeries to reconstruct his face, an official said.

Doctors initially feared that Deputy Mohamed Ahmed, 27, would lose an eye, but sheriff’s spokeswoman Nicole Nishida said surgeons are still hopeful.

Ahmed and his training officer were on patrol near Floral Drive and North Brannick Avenue on Tuesday night when they saw Nestor Torres, a 37-year-old parolee, parked in a red zone. The training officer recognized Torres, and as deputies got out of their cruiser, Torres got out of his car and fired at Ahmed, authorities said.

The training officer tried to wrestle the gun away from Torres, deflecting the weapon as it was pointed at his chest.

The officer fired at least two shots, fatally wounding Torres. Ahmed was rushed to a nearby hospital. On Wednesday night, doctors performed facial reconstruction surgery.

Ahmed woke up Thursday and began communicating by writing notes, Nishida said. The Somalia-born deputy, who was described by supervisors as having a promising future, was in stable but critical condition.

He is expected to be in the hospital “probably for a while,” Nishida said, as more facial reconstruction surgeries are performed.

“They are still trying to save his eye,” Nishida said. “He hasn’t lost his eye.”

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-- Robert Faturechi

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