A Fresno County sheriff's deputy with a head wound
John Walker / The Fresno Bee
Law officers attend to a colleague wounded in a shooting Thursday.
NBC, msnbc.com and news services
updated 2/25/2010 9:07:28 PM ET 2010-02-26T02:07:28

A gunman opened fire Thursday on authorities who tried to serve search warrants at his mobile home in central California, killing a sheriff's detective and critically wounding a police officer before barricading himself in the residence during a raging gunbattle.

A man believed to be the shooter was found dead several hours later in the home.

Another deputy was wounded by shrapnel in the shootout, The Fresno Bee reported.

The names of the three officers were not immediately released.

"We lost a good deputy sheriff today," Fresno County Sheriff Margaret Mims said.

Hundreds of shots were fired after deputies and a state fire official arrived at the mobile home to serve the warrants connected to arson and shooting cases allegedly involving the gunman.

Mary Novack, who runs a convenience store across the highway, said authorities used a loudspeaker to repeatedly order someone inside to surrender then smashed down the door.

She saw deputies go inside before hearing gunfire.

"Oh my god, somebody's going to be dead," Novack recalled thinking at the time.

She later saw an officer on the ground.

Jim Stone, 46, who lives about 100 feet from the mobile home, said he was evacuated after the shooting erupted.

The police officer from the city of Reedley was wounded while responding to a call for backup after the deputies had been shot, Mims said.

Another wounded Fresno County deputy was in stable condition.

Authorities said the gunman lived with a woman in the mobile home located on sprawling rural property owned by another family in the village of Minkler.

The community of 30 people is located along the scenic highway to Kings Canyon National Par

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Video: Deputy killed in Fresno

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