SELMA, Calif. (AP) — A 24-year-old California police officer shot and killed this week had been on the force less than two years and was preparing to become a parent, authorities said Wednesday.
Officer Gonzalo Carrasco Jr. with the Selma Police Department was patrolling in the small Central Valley city around noon Tuesday when a woman flagged down his squad car and said there was a suspicious person in her yard, officials said.
As Carrasco left his car and approached the suspect, the man opened fire and shot the officer several times, according to a statement from the Fresno County Sheriff's Office. Carrasco died at a hospital.
The suspect was arrested a short time later, and a gun believed to have been used in the shooting was seized, the statement said.
Nathaniel Dixon of Selma faces multiple charges including murder, being a felon in possession of a gun and ammunition, as well as a probation violation. It wasn't known Wednesday if he has an attorney who could speak on his behalf.
Carrasco began his career with the Selma Police Department in May 2021. He is survived by his parents, brother, sisters and girlfriend, who is pregnant with their child, the sheriff's department statement said.
The killing is the first line-of-duty death for the police department, which was formed in 1893 in the city that is home to about 23,000 people.
“I’m absolutely outraged. I am horrified right now,” Selma Police Chief Rudy Alcaraz said during a Tuesday night press conference.
Gov. Gavin Newsom ordered flags at the State Capitol to be flown at half-staff Wednesday in honor of Carrasco.
The motive for the shooting was under investigation.
Dixon, 23, was known to law enforcement and has a criminal record that included robbery and gun possession charges, and he was wanted by probation officers, authorities said.
Dixon is not eligible for bail because of the probation violation charge, officials said. He is scheduled to appear in court on Friday.