Two Veteran Fresno, California, Corrections Officers Shot by Jail Visitor

Image: Thong Vang.
Thong Vang.Fresno County Sheriff's Office

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By Elisha Fieldstadt

Two veteran California corrections officers were in critical condition after they were allegedly shot by a gang member visiting the Fresno County Jail Saturday, authorities said.

Corrections Officers Juanita Davila (L) and Toamalama ScanlanFresno County Sheriff's Office

Juanita Davila, with 18 years of experience, and Toamalama Scanlan, with 10 years of experience, both underwent surgery after suffering bullet wounds to their heads and their necks, according to a statement from the Fresno County Sheriff's Office.

The suspect, Thong Vang, 37, was also hospitalized with minor injuries after the incident, which occurred at 8:30 a.m., the statement said.

Vang is a known gang member who served 14 years in prison for multiple rape charges before he was released in 2014. The sheriff's office said he was at the jail to visit someone Saturday morning and became disgruntled when he was told he could not cut the line.

Thong Vang.Fresno County Sheriff's Office

He was told to take a seat but refused, and a "struggle ensued between Vang and the officers," at which point, Vang pulled out a handgun and shot Davila and Scanlan, the sheriff's office said.

Vang first fled and didn't surrender until after a Taser was deployed on him, but he finally "conveyed to officers he was giving up and wanted to be arrested," the sheriff's office said. He was being held on felony charges.

He was later charged with attempted murder, being a felon in possession of a gun, and a bringing drugs into jail. He was also placed on a parole hold.

Davila is a grandmother and Scanlan is a father of six, Fresno County Sheriff Margaret Mims said.