The man accused of shooting a San Jose police officer Wednesday was arraigned this afternoon in Superior Court on an attempted murder charge, for which he faces a possible life sentence.
At his arraignment, 44-year-old Gabriel Mario Carrerras was charged with attempted murder of a police officer and other firearm assault-related felony charges – negligent discharge of a firearm and a felon in possession of a firearm.
In a statement before the arraignment, Santa Clara County District Attorney Jeff Rosen said: “Today, an officer lies badly wounded in the hospital for trying to save a pregnant woman.
“As we give our sincerest thanks to her and her heroic partner, we are determined to make sure this suspect will never see a gun or freedom again.”
Rosen said a records check revealed that the gun used in the ambush firearm was unregistered, and that Carreras is a convicted felon on probation who did not have a legal right to possess a firearm
The district attorney praised the heroism of Officer Ryan Low – who pulled his wounded partner out of the line of fire at the doorway of a downtown San Jose apartment – and pledged to seek the maximum penalty, life in prison, for the man accused of shooting the police officer.
The wounded officer, a female with 10 years of experience, has not yet been identified. She is in critical but stable condition at a San Jose hospital with a serious gunshot wound to her abdomen.
Assemblyman Evan Low, D-Cupertino, told media Thursday that the shooting victim’s partner was his brother Ryan Low.
San Jose Police Chief Anthony Mata on Wednesday praised the heroism of Ryan Low, who has not yet been identified by the city, for “an act of undeniable courage that few of us will ever experience.”
“WIthout hesitation or consideration for himself, the officer’s partner extracted the victim officer from the line of fire to a place of safety where he began to treat her injuries,” the chief said.
In his statement today, Rosen revealed more information about the tense scene at the condominium apartment complex at Auzerais Avenue and Race Street before and after the ambush of the officers, who had responded to a report of domestic violence at 7:51am Wednesday.
Rosen said police dispatchers reported a crying woman caller said she was pregnant, and that her husband was drunk, had struck her in the abdomen and broken down the door of the bathroom where she had fled to make the 911 call.
When two officers walked up stairs at the Auzerais Avenue building, they stood at the entrance to the apartment at 7:57am, and one officer yelled: “San Jose Police. Come on out,” according to Rosen’s account.
The district attorney said at that moment, Carreras came out of a balcony door and fired a gun at the officer.
The female officer was seriously wounded. Rosen said the bullet struck her in the abdomen below her bulletproof vest, causing “serious damage to her intestine, colon, liver, gall bladder, and fractured her spine.”
On Friday, San Jose Police Department spokesperson Jorge Garibay, gave media an update on the wounded officer's condition: “This officer is obviously going through a very tough time, the road to recovery is going to be hard and based on all the information we have at this time the officer's status will remain critical for quite some time. We are fortunate that part of that status is stable."
After the suspect barricaded himself inside the apartment, dozens of police officers arrived at the scene, surrounded the two-story apartment building and evacuated many nearby residents. During this standoff, officers reported hearing at least two other gunshots.
Approximately two hours after the shooting, the suspect’s wife escaped after the man passed out, taking a loaded weapon with her. Rosen said she told investigators that her husband had tried to punch her stomach and blamed the shooting on her.
“There are too many guns in too many dangerous people’s hands,” Rosen said. “Too many people are getting shot, including police officers.”