Officer screams he was shot in fatal California shooting

This undated photo provided by the Merced County Sheriff's office shows Norberto Reyes. Two police officers remained hospitalized with gunshot wounds after a struggle with Reyes, who is suspected of breaking into his estranged wife's apartment, Monday, July 31, 2017, in Los Banos, Calif. (Merced County Sheriff's Office via AP)

FRESNO, Calif. — A police officer in a deadly struggle with an armed man frantically screamed into his radio for help, telling dispatchers he'd been struck by gunfire and was bleeding. The shooting left the suspect dead and sent the officer who radioed for help and his partner to a hospital where they were recovering Tuesday from gunshot wounds.

The violence a day earlier in the small central California farming community of Los Banos played out as the man's estranged wife and their five young children huddled just feet away in the small apartment.

It mirrored a struggle the man had earlier this year with two sheriff's deputies, who forcefully took the combative man to the ground, prompting his wife to take out a restraining order after she says he had made violent threats, court documents said.

Monday's deadly encounter unfolded at dawn when authorities received a 911 emergency call that Norberto Reyes, 39, had broken into the apartment of his wife through a window. They had been separated for a year, and one of the couple's sons reported the break-in, police said.

"The son just wanted police there, wanted help," said Los Banos Police Cmdr. Ray Reyna. "The father did not live there — was not wanted there."

The first officer met the teen son outside the apartment and they went inside. The officer found Reyes in the kitchen near the front door and asked him to leave the apartment. Reyes refused and the situation rapidly deteriorated into a physical confrontation, officials said.

The officer used his stun gun to subdue Reyes, but he pulled the metal probes fired by the stun gun out of his body and fought the officer. A second officer arrived and tried to help restrain Reyes. Shots then erupted in the apartment, hitting both officers and the suspect, police said.

"I've been hit... I'm bleeding," one officer shouted into his radio, calling for more help, according to KMPH-TV in Fresno ( ) reports. It's unclear at what point the second officer arrived.

Throughout the encounter, the wife was in the apartment along with the couple's five children ranging in age from 1 to 14, Reyna said.

Helicopters transported the officers and the suspect to hospitals, where the suspect died.

One of the injured officers, a six-year veteran, was shot in the head, torso and lower leg Monday, Los Banos Police Chief Gary Brizzee said.

The other officer, who joined the force a year ago, was shot in the torso. Both were in stable condition at Modesto-area hospitals and they were not identified.

Reyes would not say if the suspect was armed with his own gun or managed to wrest away one of the officers' weapons.

"This has been a tremendously tough day for us. But the men and women I work with are resilient and we'll get through this together," Chief Gary Brizzee told reporters.

Reyes threatened his wife and children earlier this year, the Merced Sun-Star newspaper reported Tuesday ( ), citing court documents that revealed a history of alleged drug use and violence.

The two sheriff's deputies earlier this year were called to the woman's home when she lived at a different location. They fought Reyes to the ground, and his wife days later obtained the restraining order preventing her estranged husband from coming near her.

One of those deputies, Sgt. Mark Taylor of the Merced County Sheriff's Office said Reyes "was obviously troubled."

"He did not want to do what he was told," Taylor told the newspaper. "He would talk to us. Sometimes he wouldn't make sense."

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