Calif. deputy recovering after being shot while serving eviction notice

Deputy Jesse Grant, who has been with the department for 17 years, was hit twice and taken to the hospital

By Molly Gibbs
Monterey Daily Herald

MONTEREY, Calif. — Monterey County Sheriff’s Deputy Jesse Grant, 40, is recovering after being shot while serving an eviction notice in Salinas on Wednesday.

“Everyone’s optimistic with regard to the condition and the recovery of the deputy,” said the county’s chief communications officer, Nick Pasculli. “It could have been tragic but the trauma team at Natividad Medical Center did an amazing job of providing excellent care and very rapid surgery to take care of the injuries that the deputy received in the line of duty.”

The suspected shooter, Erin Howard Fischer, a 67-year-old male resident of Salinas, was fatally shot Wednesday by authorities, ending the 9-hour standoff.

At 7:49 a.m. Wednesday, Deputy Grant responded to a routine service call at 29 Sun St. According to a press release from the Monterey County District Attorney’s Office, at 7:56 a.m. Grant asked for additional units to respond to the location after Fischer did not answer the door to his upstairs apartment. Two more deputies arrived and Fischer, according to the DA, began firing at them starting at 8:46 a.m.

Fischer was later discovered to be heavily armed and was holding an assault rifle when he was killed.

Grant, who has been with the department for 17 years, was hit twice and transported to Natividad Medical Center.

The gunman barricaded himself in the apartment for most of Wednesday, using numerous firearms to shoot at responding officers. He was later found to have three semi-automatic assault rifles, two bolt action rifles and two handguns. A shelter-in-place order was put into effect for the area.

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Federal, state and local law enforcement were present at the incident Wednesday, including agents from the FBI San Francisco field office, crisis negotiators, SWAT and Evidence Response teams.

The county said it was working to resolve the standoff peacefully despite the gunman and law enforcement exchanging fire throughout the day. The DA’s Office estimated about 18 officers fired.

The DA’s office reported that Fischer shot down seven drones. He was wearing camouflaged military apparel with loaded magazines, helmet and a gas mask.

The county announced that the suspect was fatally injured when he was shot in the head by an officer around 5:45 p.m. Wednesday.

“Several attempts were made to resolve this peacefully however, the suspect continued to fire on law enforcement,” a press release from the County of Monterey said. “Return fire was initiated and at 5:45 p.m., the suspect was fatally injured.”

Pasculli said he was not at liberty to say which law enforcement agency’s return fire killed the suspect.

Moving forward, Pasculli said the Sheriff’s Office is conducting a joint investigation with the District Attorney’s Office. He said the FBI and Salinas Police Department are also supporting that investigation.

Pasculli said he could not confirm the suspect’s motive.

The city of Seaside experienced a similar situation last year, after a Monterey County Sheriff’s Office deputy tried to conduct an eviction last May near San Pablo Avenue.

The man involved fired shots at officers, causing an hours-long standoff and a shelter-in-place order. The situation ended peacefully after the gunman surrendered to authorities.

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