Murdered officer from Central California was preparing to become a parent

Authorities said Wednesday that the 24-year-old Central California police officer shot dead this week had been with the police for less than two years and was preparing to become a parent.

Officer Gonzalo Carrasco Jr. of the Selma Police Department was patrolling a small town in the Central Valley around noon Tuesday when a woman stopped his patrol car and said there was a suspicious person in her front yard.

As Carrasco got out of the car and approached the suspect, the man opened fire and shot the officer multiple times, according to a statement from the Fresno County Sheriff’s Office. Carrasco died in the hospital.

The suspect was detained some time later, and the gun allegedly used in the shooting was seized, the statement said.

Nathaniel Dixon of Selma faces multiple charges including murder, possession of weapons and ammunition, and violation of parole. On Wednesday, it was not known if he had a lawyer who could act on his behalf.

Carrasco began his career with the Selma Police Department in May 2021. He is survived by his parents, a brother, sisters and a girlfriend who is pregnant with their child, the sheriff’s department said in a statement.

The murder is the first official death for the police department, which was formed in 1893 in a city of about 23,000 people.

“I am absolutely outraged. I’m terrified right now,” Selma Police Chief Rudy Alcaraz said at a press conference on Tuesday evening.

Gov. Gavin Newsom ordered flags at half-mast at the State Capitol Wednesday in honor of Carrasco.

The motive for the shooting is being investigated.

Dixon, 23, was known to law enforcement and has a criminal record, including robbery and weapons charges, and was wanted by probation officers, authorities said.

Dixon is not eligible for bail due to the probation violation charge, officials said. He is due to appear in court on Friday.

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