From all information available, this appears to be a sad, tragic accident.
Officer Down: Sergeant Rod Lucas Killed By Detective
By Sergeant Blueblood On November 3, 2016
Fresno County Sheriff’s Officer Sergeant Rod Lucas was killed by another detective.
Fresno County, CA – A 20-year veteran of the Fresno County Sheriff’s Department was tragically killed on Monday afternoon by one of his own colleagues. Sergeant Rod Lucas was shot in the chest at about 3:45 P.M. and rushed to Community Regional Medical Center, where he died. The shooting occurred at a substation for the department that is situated in a business park near Clinton and Winery Avenues.
During the initial stages of the investigation, few details have been released. From the information that has been released to the media, this would appear to be a negligent firearm handling. Investigators have said that Sergeant Rod Lucas was having a conversation with a 9-year veteran detective about the various ways to carry their backup weapons when the shot was fired.
Sheriff Margaret Mims has announced publicly that there were two other colleagues in the room at the time of the shooting and that there was no dispute of any kind, just a conversation about gun safety. “During this discussion, the detective’s weapon discharged,” the sheriff said. “Sgt. Lucas was struck by the bullet in his chest and he dropped to the ground.” Lucas was given CPR prior to transport but died at the hospital.
All of the officers were in plain-clothes and not wearing body armor.
Sergeant Rod Lucas was promoted in 2008 and had served in various capacities since then. He leaves behind a wife, 4 children, and a grandchild. He is the 12th officer lost in the line of duty since the creation of the Fresno County Sheriff’s Department in 1856.
Regardless of the outcome of this investigation, this entire incident was completely avoidable and only strengthens the tenants of gun safety. The main tenants of gun safety are 1) Treat every gun as if it is loaded 2) Never point a gun at something you do not intend to destroy 3) Always be sure of your target and what is behind it 4) Keep your finger off the trigger until the target is in your sights.
The involved detective, who has not been identified as of yet, is probably devastated at this turn of events but must bear responsibility for Sergeant Rod Lucas’ death. He acted foolishly and recklessly. While I cannot predict the future, I envision a long-hard look at this case by the local District Attorney and negligence will play a big role in any charging decision.