Numerous community members gathered recently to show support for local law enforcement officers in Bakersfield, California.
“The caravan arrived at Bakersfield Police Department headquarters waving flags, offering supportive message for police officers,” KGET reported on Saturday.
Organizers scheduled the event after a Bakersfield police officer was wounded during a shooting two weeks ago.
“We want to support the officers here in Bakersfield that are making the right decisions… trying to educate everybody across all color lines and let everybody know we’re Americans. We’re all one,” said attendee Anthony Rodriguez.
On December 18, officers responded to a 911 call regarding a person armed with a handgun near McKee Road and Maria Angelica St., according to 23 ABC.
The officers asked for a mobile Mental Health Evaluation Team response because the person was making suicidal statements, the article continued:
While staging in the area, officers learned that the suspect was walking in the neighborhood while armed with a firearm. Officers made contact with the suspect and attempted to establish a dialogue. The suspect began to remove the firearm from his waistband and an officer deployed a less-lethal foam bullet. The less-lethal deployment had no effect and the suspect began to flee from officers while drawing the firearm. As he ran past one of the officers the suspect fired several times, striking the officer.
The individual was hit when pursuing officers returned fire.
“An additional officer was grazed by the suspect’s gunfire resulting in minor injury. The suspect’s firearm was recovered,” the ABC report said, adding that the suspect later died from his injuries at a nearby hospital.
“The officer is in stable condition in an area hospital. All of the involved officers were equipped with body-worn cameras,” the outlet stated.
According to the KGET report, the officer was later released and is now recovering at home.
At the Back the Blue event, attendees decorated their vehicles and waved American flags and Thin Blue Line flags as they stood outside the City of Bakersfield Police Building.