Dramatic recordings of CHP officer shooting released
The Californa Highway patrol officer is in a car riddled with bullets. He has been shot in his chest and his hand. But his voice is calm as he calls for help on the radio:
"Tell units to slow down. One of the shots went into my vest and one into my hand. Neither are life-threatening," the officer says in an emergency radio call from the May 6 attack near Lake Isabella. Authorities released the audio and video in an effort to solicit the public's help in tracking down three suspects.
The officer, who has not been identified by the department, was alone in his patrol car at the side of California 178, using radar to watch for speeders. An SUV went by westbound, then slowed and made a U-turn, coming back going east in the westbound lanes. A passenger fired at the patrol car.
The officer ducked and drew his weapon. When he came up shooting, he was hit.
"I've been shot twice," the audiotape continues. "The suspect vehicle is a blue Yukon with 24-inch wheels. It has bullet holes on the driver's side...
"I returned fire. The shooter was in the back, driver's side. He was wearing a wife-beater T-shirt. I'm pretty sure I struck at least once or twice."
The officer tried to follow the SUV, but his patrol car had a flat tire.
Investigators believe the SUV's left rear cargo window was shot out, and it possibly has bullet holes on the left side.
They describe the suspected shooter as a Latino man, of muscular build, in his 20s, wearing a light-colored tank top; the driver was described as a Latino man, probably in his 20s, wearing a white cowboy hat and button-up shirt.
"We continue to seek the public's assistance in bringing these individuals to justice," CHP said in a statement released with the dramatic audio and photos of a blood-splattered patrol car.
Anyone with information on the suspects is encouraged to call the CHP, or the Kern County Sheriff's Office at (661) 861-3110. Or, information can be left anonymously by calling Secret Witness at (621) 322-4040.
-- Diana Marcum