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Wounded Deputy Testifies at Hearing

Ventura County Sheriff’s Deputy Michael Martinez had just finished searching a suspect in a traffic stop in Nyeland Acres when he turned his head away from the man for a moment. Four bullets were fired.

Two were deflected by his bulletproof vest. The third shattered two-thirds of his shoulder socket.

A fourth bullet grazed the shoulder of Martinez’s partner, Deputy Jennifer Sezzi.

On Tuesday, Martinez and a witness described the April 29 traffic stop-turned-gun battle in a preliminary hearing for an Oxnard man accused of wounding the two deputies.

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Emiliano Orozco, 20, is charged with three counts of attempted murder of a police officer. Ventura County Municipal Judge Herbert Curtis heard testimony Tuesday from Martinez and Pablo Cortez de la Torre, 23, who was driving the car on the night of the incident.

De la Torre, who has not been charged in the case, said he never saw a gun in Orozco’s hand, but did hear several shots come from where the deputies and Orozco were standing.

Martinez, 41, required major surgery, from which he is recovering, officials said. Sezzi, 30, was not seriously hurt.

The hearing is expected to continue today.

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