DELHI -- A Merced County sheriff's deputy is recovering from surgery after a suspect shot him after a domestic dispute.
That deputy, a veteran of the department with over 15 years on the force, and a man identified as 38-year-old Jose Torres of Delhi exchanged gunfire at Harmony Ranch Drive in Delhi.
Merced County Sheriff's Sergeant Delrey Shelton told FOX40 that two deputies initially responded to a home there for a domestic dispute call. When they arrived, Shelton said Torres came out of the home with an "assault-style" rifle and fired at deputies.
Shelton later said that rifle was a long gun. At that point, the deputies returned fire, killing Torres.
"It's tragic. The officers struggle. This is an officer's biggest fear when you're on an assignment. And as a supervisor, the last thing you want is one of your own injured and hurt," Shelton said.
One neighbor told FOX40 that his mother and father were watching the investigation unfold from inside their home, very close to the home the shooting occurred. He said his parents believed they knew the deputy who was shot, and they were waiting for updates on his condition.
"People grow up in this town and they meet a lot of sheriff's (deputies) over the years. You get really close to them. They protect you. When you need them, they're one phone call away. I'm just glad our friends and family are alright. You know hopefully the deputy that is in the hospital right now, everything will work out. Everybody's praying for him," a friend of a neighbor named Brian said.
According to officials, one deputy was taken to Doctors Hospital in Modesto with two gunshot wounds to the lower body and went through surgery. According to the sheriff, the deputy is awake and talking. He is expected to make a full recovery.