SJ police officer still in critical but stable condition following shooting, department says

Zach Fuentes Image
Friday, August 18, 2023
SJPD officer shot in critical but stable condition: Department
There are new details about the San Jose police officer still in critical condition because of a gunshot wound.

SAN JOSE, Calif. (KGO) -- There are new details about the San Jose police officer still in critical condition because of a gunshot wound.

That officer is the department's first female officer ever injured in the line of duty.

It happened when police responded Wednesday morning to a report of a family disturbance at Auzerais Avenue and Race Street.

Crews were at work Thursday to repair a broken gate at the condo complex, a last remaining sign of the intense police scene the area saw just a day before.

RELATED: Longtime SJPD officer shot while on duty in stable but critical condition, authorities say

A veteran officer shot by a suspect at a San Jose condo is in critical condition, authorities said.

"I saw them knock down the gate," said Benajmin Le who witnessed the police response. "Nobody knew how to keep it open."

Le says he lives just a couple of doors down from the home that police surrounded during a 4-hour standoff with the suspect.

"They came upstairs, knocked on our house and then was like, 'Hey, we got to escort you out,'" Le said. "It was my fiancé and I kind of sandwiched between two police officers."

San Jose police say they were initially called to the home for a family disturbance before 8 a.m. Wednesday morning.

MORE: 2 students stabbed at San Jose high school, police say

The caller said her husband was drunk and tried to hit her.

Police say the two responding officers were ambushed just 30 seconds after arriving to the condo-complex.

"The suspect exited onto the balcony's landing and from a position of concealment, discharged a firearm, striking our officer," said San Jose Police Chief Anthony Mata at a Wednesday evening press conference.

Neighbors were either evacuated, forced to stay in their home, or kept outside of the wide police perimeter.

MORE: Child, great-grandmother fatally stabbed in San Jose apartment, police say

Thursday, police released an update, saying that the female officer remains in critical but stable condition a day after the shooting.

Chief Mata says the officer was shot in the upper body outside of her vest.

The chief said it was a fast response from her partner that helped lead to her survival.

"Without hesitation, or consideration for himself, the officer's partner extracted the officer from the line of fire to a place of safety where he began treat her injuries," Mata said.

MORE: Police investigating double homicide after 2 found dead in San Jose apartment

That officer is the older brother of Assemblymember Evan Low.

"He's not just my hero," Low said of his brother, "He's San Jose's hero, and I'm so proud of him."

Low raced from the state capitol to be with his brother. More than 24 hours after the shooting, Low says his brother is working to cope.

"He physically is doing well," Low said. "But I know that he is still very tense and recapping and replaying in his mind what transpired."

MORE: 2 Santa Clara Sheriff's deputies die within 1 week in separate incidents

As more news on the injured officer's condition is awaited, Low says the tragic situation is a wakeup call.

"It's just a stark reminder about this heroism that we see displayed each and every day," he said.

Police say the suspect was a convicted felon who was not allowed to have a gun.

Neighbors who say they've met the man are still trying to come to terms with the news.

MORE: New pilot program aims to build social, community connections in San Jose

"We talked about it with all of our neighbors," said neighbor Joshua Garcia.

"I haven't really processed it," he said, "It's a weird situation. Definitely, just a weird situation."

The 44-year-old suspect is expected in court Friday.

Now Streaming 24/7 Click Here

If you're on the ABC7 News app, click here to watch live