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Minkler shootout claims another officer’s life

March 1, 2010 |  2:55 pm

A second Fresno County law enforcement officer has died after being shot last week by a barricaded arson suspect.

Reedley police Officer Javier Bejar had been on life support at a Fresno hospital since the daylong standoff Feb. 25. He died Monday morning, Reedley city officials said.

Some 200 officers from area departments converged on the tiny unincorporated town of Minkler after two Fresno County sheriff's deputies were shot while trying to serve a search warrant. One of them, Joel Wahlenmaier, died within hours. The other deputy is recovering.

Hundreds of rounds were fired between the suspect's mobile home and police who had cordoned off the area. The alleged shooter, Ricky Liles, 51, apparently took his own life, police have said.

Bejar, 28, was named officer of the year in his agricultural community in 2007.

-- Steve Chawkins

Photo: Reedley PD