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Man Shot After Officer Stabbed

Violence: Farm worker turns on police after being chased from his family's Oxnard home to a neighbor's porch, authorities say.


An Oxnard farm worker was shot by police Sunday after he stabbed an officer in the neck following a brief chase through a Colonia neighborhood, authorities said.

Eric Gonzalez, 19, was taken to St John's Regional Medical Center in Oxnard shortly after the incident. A nursing supervisor confirmed that he was being treated in the hospital's emergency room late Sunday but would not disclose his condition.

The wounded officer was treated and released from St. John's for minor knife wounds to his neck and arm, a police spokesman said.

It was the fourth officer-involved shooting in Oxnard this year.

The shooting occurred after a police officer responded to a call in the 200 block of Harding Avenue just after 9 a.m. A member of Gonzalez's family had called police saying Gonzalez, who was visiting relatives, appeared to be intoxicated and was causing a disturbance, officials said.

As the officer approached the house, he saw Gonzalez running east on nearby 3rd Street, said Oxnard police spokesman David Keith.

With the officer in pursuit, Gonzalez approached a home on the corner of 3rd Street and Wilson Avenue and demanded that the residents let him in, Keith said.

The woman who answered the door refused to allow Gonzalez in the house, Keith said. Witnesses later said a boyhood friend of Gonzalez lived there.

As Gonzalez continued to demand entry, the officer slowly approached while warning the resident to keep the frontdoor locked. The officer then backed away, but Gonzalez lunged at him with a foot-long knife and stabbed him in the neck, Keith said. A second officer arrived, and both opened fire, hitting Gonzalez twice, Keith said. Police would not say where Gonzalez was wounded.

Investigators have not determined whether Gonzalez was under the influence of alcohol or drugs, Keith said. Police would not say Sunday what charges Gonzalez might face.

Neither officer's name was released Sunday.

"He's really lucky," Keith said of the wounded officer. "He's up and walking around and able to function. . . . You get stabbed in the throat, it's quite a wake-up call."

Gonzalez works for his uncle's Oxnard strawberry farm, sometimes in the fields but also as a supervisor, said his sister-in-law, Jessica Gonzalez.

She said Eric Gonzalez lives with her and his brother and was visiting his grandmother at her Harding Avenue home before the shooting. She did not know who placed the initial call to the police.

"He is just a normal kid," Jessica Gonzalez said. "He is not in any trouble at all and this is really strange. His mother is devastated."

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