Thursday, March 04, 2010

Somehow It Seems Like I Have To Keep Writing The Same Story

We're informed that Reedley, California Police Officer Javier Bejar, a former Marine and Iraq veteran, was killed in the line of duty last week, along with Fresno County sheriff's detective Joel Wahlenmaier.

It went down like this.

A search warrant had been issued to search the home of one Ricky Ray Liles in Minkler, a small town east of Fresno. Liles was suspected of setting several fires and was also implicated in a string of random shootings at houses and people in Minkler.

A taste for gunplay was no stranger to the Liles home, as his wife had previously served county time for pulling a gun on her supervisor at work, threatening to kill him and then herself a few years back, but nevermind. She hit the dirt like everyone else when the shooting started. It's unknown at this point what her involvement may have been and what she knew at the time.

Wahlenmaier walked up on the porch and attempted to serve the warrant and was shot through the door of the home. Officer Bejar was shot with a high powered rifle at a range of 80 yards while crouched behind his cruiser, assisting other deputies in the service of the warrant. A firefight and standoff erupted and Liles did the only honorable thing he was capable of, blowing his brains out.

I'm not sure what the takehome from this is-although Liles was well known in the area as being a contentious and threatening man who said at times that he'd take a few with him when they came for him.

If there's a moral to the story, it is that no arrest is routine. In addition, Reedley is a smallish farming community, about 25,000 or so, and like most farming communities the folks are, for the most part decent people and the bad boys are pretty well known. That openness and amity may have been a factor-I just don't know.

John, 15:13 seems curiously appropriate here.

"Greater love hath no man than this, that he lay down his life for his friends."