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Modesto Officer In Critical Condition After Attack During Warrant Service

Modesto, CA – A Modesto police officer is in critical condition after he was shot while serving a search warrant late on Saturday night.

The incident began at about 10 p.m. on Aug. 15 when an officer saw a motorcycle driving recklessly near West Orangeburg Avenue and Enslen Avenue, KMAX reported.

The officer tried to stop the motorcycle but the driver fled.

The Stanislaus County Sheriff’s Department’s helicopter responded to the scene and was able to spot and follow the motorcycle, KMAX reported.

The helicopter followed the suspect to a home in the 3100-block of East Orangeburg Avenue.

Officers said that the suspect came out of the house and surrendered shortly after they arrived on the scene, KMAX reported.

Police said officers searched the suspect and found him in possession of drugs for the purpose of sale, so they sought a warrant for the house he’d come out of.

At about 11:30 p.m., officers got a warrant for the home and made entry, KMAX reported.

But police said that as soon as they entered the house, 42-year-old Jesse James Brooks opened fire on them.

One officer was shot, KMAX reported.

Police returned fire and Brooks was injured, too.

Modesto Police Chief Brandon Gillespie said in a video posted to the police department’s Facebook page on Sunday night that officers rendered First Aid at the scene.

Then Chief Gillespie said officers transported the wounded hero – later identified as Modesto Police Officer Michael Rokaitis –to the hospital where he underwent surgery for several hours, according to the Modesto Bee.

He remained in critical but stable condition on Sunday, KMAX reported.

Brooks was treated at a local hospital and released into police custody, the Modesto Bee reported.

He was charged with three counts of attempted murder of a peace officer, with an enhancement for using a firearm, and one charge each of being a felon in possession of a firearm and being a prohibited person in possession of ammunition.

Brooks’ bail was set at $4.5 million, the Modesto Bee reported.

The wounded officer is a legacy at the Modesto Police Department.

His father, Modesto Police Detective Jim Rokaitis, pinned his son’s badge to his uniform when he was sworn into the police department in August of 2014, the Modesto Bee reported.

Written by
Sandy Malone

Managing Editor - Twitter/@SandyMalone_ - Prior to joining The Police Tribune, Sandy wrote the Politics.Net column for the Wall Street Journal and was managing editor of Campaigns & Elections magazine. More recently, she was an internationally-syndicated columnist for Conde Nast (BRIDES), The Huffington Post, and Monsters and Critics. Sandy is married to a retired police captain and former SWAT commander.

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Written by Sandy Malone


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