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Man in Gun Incident Wounded by Deputy

TIMES STAFF WRITER

A Fillmore man who fired a gun into a crowd of rival gang members who were fighting was shot in the face by an off-duty Ventura County sheriff’s deputy who tried to stop him, authorities said Saturday.

Jesse Jose Gomez Jr., 2O, of north Fillmore was in critical condition at Ventura County Medical Center, a nursing supervisor said late Saturday.

The shooting occurred shortly before 10 p.m. Friday in a residential area at Blue Jay and D streets after Gomez fired into a crowd of about 30 gang members, deputies said. Some people in the crowd were armed with guns, knives and baseball bats, witnesses said.

Ventura County Sheriff’s Deputy Michael Hasty, who was the first officer to arrive on the scene, lives nearby, Deputy John McGraw said. Hasty was off duty and heard the commotion from the fight, authorities said.

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According to deputies, Hasty saw Gomez shooting and told him to stop. Hasty identified himself and Gomez pointed his gun at Hasty, then began walking toward him, deputies said, prompting Hasty to shoot Gomez.

One witness who asked not to be identified said, however, that Hasty did not identify himself before he fired.

The bullet struck Gomez below his right eye, said Gomez’s father, Jesse Gomez Sr. According to the father, Gomez was in a coma late Saturday and could not be operated on to remove the bullet until he emerged from the coma.

Gomez was arrested on suspicion of attempted homicide and his gun was recovered at the scene, authorities said.

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Gomez, an assembly line worker in Ventura, lives with his parents and a younger brother and sister, his father said.

The father emphatically denied that his son was carrying a gun and said his son was not a member of a gang or in any way involved in gang activities.

“He had nothing on him,” Gomez Sr. said. “He’s not in a gang. Basically, he’s a good kid.”

The shooting was under investigation, authorities said.

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