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Three Suspects Sentenced To 15 Years For 2014 Shootout That Left California Cop In Critical Condition

August 29, 2015  |  Posted by: JammedUp Staff
Three Suspects Sentenced To 15 Years For 2014 Shootout That Left California Cop In Critical Condition

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Three men were sentenced to 15 years in prison Friday for their role in a police shootout that left one officer critically wounded last year.

Moments before their sentencing, Jonathan Contreras, 20, Orlando Cruz, 24, and Gonzalo Medina, 23, pleaded guilty to assault with a weapon on a police officer and furnishing a firearm, prosecutors said.

The charges stem from an August 2014 gang gun battle that left San Bernardino Officer Gabriel Garcia critically wounded in the head and chest, although neither of the three men were armed, prosecutors said.

San Bernardino police Officer Gabriel Garcia was shot in the head and chest and survived.

San Bernardino police Officer Gabriel Garcia was shot in the head and chest and survived.

San Bernardino police Officer Gabriel Garcia was shot in the head and chest and survived.

The trio’s criminal cohort, 38-year-old Alex Alvarado, fired on 31-year-old Garcia after the six-year police veteran and a rookie officer he was training approached the group on Aug. 22, 2014, police said.

The rookie, Marcus Pesquera, returned fire, fatally wounding Alvarado.

“If you aid and abet or conspire with another person to shoot a police officer, or any other person, you will be held accountable — even if you don’t pull the trigger,” District Attorney Mike Ramos said.

Garcia was not expected to survive and his recovery has been an “inspiration,” Ramos said.

Garcia was moved to a rehab center, where he learned to walk again after the shooting left him paralyzed on one side, and now lives with his parents, according to the San Bernardino Sun.

Alex Alvarado, 38, was shot dead by a trainee officer after allegedly opening fire on police on Aug. 22, 2014.

Alex Alvarado, 38, was shot dead by a trainee officer after allegedly opening fire on police on Aug. 22, 2014.

“I want to be normal again,” Garcia, a dad, told the paper. “If I don’t work hard, I won’t get back to who I was before.”

Pesquera is set to receive the California State Medal of Valor next month.

“I’m so glad,” Garcia said. “He’s very deserving of such an honor.”

Police Chief Jarrod Burguan said he was satisfied with the judicial outcome.

“Today is a milestone in that we can continue to move forward knowing that justice has been done,” he said.

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