A 33-year-old Stockton police officer died Wednesday just weeks after he was seriously injured in a car crash while on duty, officials said.
Officer Scott Hewell, who joined the department in September 2012, was pronounced dead at UC Davis Medical Center on Wednesday morning, according to Officer Joseph Silva, a Stockton police spokesman.
Hewell sustained serious injuries on May 28, when the patrol car he was riding in veered from the road and struck a tree, Silva said.
“Any time a law enforcement officer is killed in the line of duty, that is tragic, but when it is one of your own that’s unbelievable,” Stockton Police Chief Eric Jones said in a statement. “Right now, our department is grieving and in a state of shock.”
Hewell and his partner, who was driving the cruiser, were heading to aid an officer who had stopped Jimmie Turner, 32, according to Silva. Turner was accused of opening fire on another vehicle and was later charged with assault with a deadly weapon, Silva said.
“As you can imagine, one officer is dealing with an armed suspect in a felony car stop so our officers have to have a rapid response,” Silva said. “Unfortunately, accidents do occur, and this one turned tragic for our department.”
Hewell was released from the hospital on June 6. He was recuperating at his family’s home but was rushed back to the hospital Wednesday, where he died, Silva said.
An official cause of death has not been determined.
The other officer has returned to active duty after he was treated for injuries. The California Highway Patrol is currently investigating the now fatal car wreck, but no charges have been filed in relation to the crash, Silva said.
Gov. Jerry Brown and Attorney General Kamala D. Harris both offered their condolences to Hewell’s family and the Stockton Police Department.
“Anne and I are deeply saddened by the tragic loss of Stockton Police Officer Scott Hewell,” Brown said in a statement. “Our thoughts are with his friends, family and the entire law enforcement community during this difficult time.”
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