Calif. officer in critical condition after being shot; suspect arrested

Officer Michael Rokaitis, a 7-year veteran, was shot while serving a search warrant


By Deke Farrow and Brian Clark
The Modesto Bee

MODESTO, Calif. — Modesto Police Chief Brandon Gillespie in a video posted on Facebook on Sunday evening identified the officer shot Saturday night as Michael Rokaitis, a seven-year veteran of the department.

The chief said Rokaitis was in surgery several hours Sunday and remains in critical but stable condition.

Earlier in the day, the Police Department confirmed the identity of the man accused of shooting Rokaitis.

The jail booking log shows that Modesto resident Jesse James Collins Brooks, 42, faces three counts of attempted murder of a peace officer, with an enhancement for using a firearm. He also faces one charge each of being a felon in possession of a firearm and being a prohibited person in possession of ammunition. Bail is set at $4.5 million.

Rokaitis was shot while serving a search warrant late Saturday.

The warrant was served at a home in the 3100 block of East Orangeburg Avenue following the arrest of a man who had led police on a chase that began around 10 p.m. when a traffic officer saw the man driving his motorcycle recklessly in the area near West Orangeburg and Enslen avenues.

The motorcyclist was followed, in part, by a Stanislaus County Sheriff's Department air unit, which spotted him going into the home on East Orangeburg east of Lakewood Avenue.

He eventually surrendered to officers, and was found to be in possession of drugs for the purpose of sales, according to a Modesto Police Department Facebook post early Sunday morning. The man's name has not been released.

After obtaining the warrant, officers went into the home, where Brooks allegedly began shooting at them, hitting Rokaitis. Police returned fire and injured Brooks, who was taken to a nearby hospital with minor injuries and released into police custody.

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McClatchy-Tribune News Service

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