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Man Shoots Oxnard Officers, Is Killed

Police say the El Rio resident opened fire after patrolmen stopped the car he was riding in.

July 02, 2006|Gregory W. Griggs | Times Staff Writer

Two Oxnard police officers were wounded and the man who shot them was killed during a gun battle after a traffic stop early Saturday, authorities said.

Edward Lorenzo Medina, 25, of El Rio was in the back seat of a Nissan sedan that had been stopped in the 400 block of West Kamala Street when he opened fire on the officers, police said. The two officers, whose names were being withheld, returned fire, mortally wounding Medina.

Medina ran from the car but collapsed and died in the driveway of a nearby home in the 2100 block of South E Street.

Both officers were hospitalized.

The incident began just before 1 a.m. when the officers stopped a car driven by Rosemary Medina, 40, of El Rio. It wasn't clear Saturday whether she was related to the victim. In the passenger seat was another female, whom police declined to identify, and Edward Medina was behind her.

As the officers approached the car they noticed Edward Medina acting suspiciously, said Oxnard Police Department spokesman David Keith. When they told Medina to put his hands in plain view, he produced a handgun and began shooting, Keith said.

One officer, who is 38 and a 13-year veteran of the force, was shot in the chin. His partner, 35, and with five years in the department, was shot in both legs. Both officers returned fire and one radioed for assistance.

Arriving officers found Medina about 60 yards away. He had died of a single gunshot wound to the chest, said Craig Stevens, senior deputy medical examiner with the Ventura County coroner's office.

The wounded officers were taken to St. John's Regional Medical Center in Oxnard. The 38-year-old underwent surgery and was in intensive care Saturday afternoon, officials said. One bullet that struck the 35-year-old officer traveled up his leg and lodged in his groin. He is scheduled to have surgery today.

Rosemary Medina was struck by a bullet fragment. She was treated at Community Memorial Hospital in Ventura and released.

"She got a little bullet fragment in her head, but it didn't penetrate the skull," Keith said. "It was a superficial wound. She was very lucky."

Police questioned her and the female passenger and released them, Keith said.

Authorities don't know why Edward Medina shot at the officers.

The last time an Oxnard officer was shot on duty was in March 1996 when James Rex Jensen, 30, was killed by a fellow SWAT team member during a botched drug raid. The department paid a $3.5-million settlement to Jensen's family.

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