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Community steps up to help injured officer

August 29, 2010 5:35:51 PM PDT
People across the Bay Area are stepping up to help a Fremont police officer shot while serving a warrant two days ago.

Officer Todd Young underwent a second round of surgery Sunday afternoon. He remains in critical but stable condition in an intensive care unit. As he underwent surgery in Oakland, there was an outpouring of support for him happening in Pleasant Hill from people around the Bay Area looking to do anything they could to help.

"One of our family's been injured and we're doing everything we can. That's why I'm here today," said Fremont Officer Mark Riggs as he sat donating blood.

Lt. Riggs wanted to go to the hospital to be by his friend's side, but he went to the blood bank instead.

"I just feel the need to do something. He can't take any visitors, so this is something that I can do for him in his name, and if the blood doesn't go to him, it will go to somebody else," he told ABC7.

So many others had the same idea that at times, the wait lasted an unprecedented two hours. The blood bank in Pleasant Hill is the only Red Cross location open on Sundays. The outpouring of support there lasted all day Sunday and came from those who know Officer Todd Young as well as many who do not.

"He's a fellow officer. He needs blood. It's the least I can do. It's the easiest thing I can do for him," said Lisa Ausmus with the Oakland Police Department.

Ausmus had never met Young, but the shooting brought back memories of the day last year when four of her own were shot and killed in the line of duty. She was on duty Friday when Young was shot while serving a search warrant on a reputed gang member in East Oakland.

She rushed to the scene

"We just tried to get Officer Young up to the hospital to get him taken care of," she recalled.

After a massive 24-hour manhunt, police arrested Andrew Barrientos near the Mexico border. Police say he had a handgun in his waistband, the same type of weapon used to shoot Young.

Lupe Luna works with Young on the Major Crimes Task Force.

"It's just part of the very day work. That's what they do. They go out and wait to get calls for one thing or another. You just don't know how the day is going to go," she said.

Young remains in critical condition at Highland Hospital and as he faces more surgeries in the coming days, the need for blood and more donors remains too.

"The Red Cross issued a critical appeal to the public on Monday the 23rd and we haven't had this kind of turnout," said Sara O'Brien, with the N. California Red Cross. "It's unfortunate it takes some kind of incident like this to bring home that need for blood."

The call for donors remains in place as Young is expected to need even more surgeries throughout the coming week. He was shot twice in the pelvic area. He is 39-years-old, a father of three and a veteran Bay Area police officer. His wife has remained by his bedside at the hospital since he was shot Friday afternoon.

People can help by donating blood for Young with the American Red Cross. Appointments can be scheduled at any of the below American Red Cross locations by calling 1-800-448-3543 or 1-800-733-2767, or by going to www.redcrossbayarea.org.

There are five American Red Cross Agencies in the Bay Area that are accepting donations:

Pleasant Hill
140 Gregory Lane Ste 120
Pleasant Hill, CA 94523

Oakland
6230 Claremont Avenue
Oakland, CA 94618

Pleasanton
5556 N Springdale Avenue
Pleasanton, CA 94588

San Jose
2731 North 1st Street
San Jose, CA

Fremont
39227 Cedar Blvd
Fremont, CA 94560


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