An on-duty Selma police officer was fatally shot Tuesday while responding to a resident’s concern, stunning many in the small city just southeast of Fresno.
Officer Gonzalo Carrasco Jr., 24, is the first officer to die in the line of duty in Selma, a majority Latino city of fewer than 25,000, according to a statement from the Fresno County Sheriff’s Office, which is investigating the killing. Carrasco had been at the Selma Police Department less than two years and was a father-to-be.
The man who investigators say fatally shot Carrasco has been arrested and is being held without bail.
About 11: 45 a.m. Tuesday, Carrasco was flagged down by a woman worried about a “suspicious man” on her property in a neighborhood just west of U.S. Route 99, according to the Sheriff’s Office. Carrasco attempted to approach the man, but the man fired several shots at Carrasco, killing him.
The man, later identified as 23-year-old Nathaniel Dixon, ran from the scene of the shooting. After a short search by police, Dixon was found about one mile away, and officers recovered a gun not far from where Dixon was detained, according to the Sheriff’s Office.
Dixon, a Selma resident who deputies said has a significant criminal history that includes prison time, was booked into the Fresno County Jail on suspicion of murder, being a felon in possession of a gun and ammunition, and a probation violation. He is not eligible for bail because of the probation violation charge, deputies said.
Carrasco died at the hospital, officials said. He became an officer with the Selma Police Department in May 2021. He is survived by his parents, brother, sisters and girlfriend, who is currently pregnant with their child.
“I’m absolutely outraged,” Selma Police Chief Rudy Alcaraz said, according to the Fresno Bee. “I’m horrified right now. This is the worst-case scenario.”
Gov. Gavin Newsom’s office said flags at the Capitol would be flown at half-staff in honor of Carrasco.
“Jennifer and I join all the family, friends and colleagues mourning the tragic loss of Officer Carrasco, who devoted his life to protecting his community,” Newsom said in a statement. “His tremendous bravery, dedication and sacrifice will never be forgotten.”
The Fresno County Deputy Sheriff’s Assn. has established a memorial fund for Carrasco’s family.