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The State : Detective Shot in Ambush

January 14, 1986

A Fresno County sheriff's detective was ambushed by a ski-masked gunman when the officer stopped to remove a board with spikes in it from the road. Sheriff Harold McKinney said Detective Nicholas Melillo was shot twice, once in the thigh and once in the calf, when he spotted the gunman hiding in some bushes south of Caruthers. Melillo returned the fire and the gunman fled. Melillo, 45, an eight-year veteran, managed to get back to his unmarked car and radio for help. When other deputies arrived in the area, they found no sign of the gunman, adding that dense fog in the area hampered their search. Melillo was in "very stable" condition at a Fresno hospital.

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