The Herald community lost a hero Monday night when Sacramento County Sheriff deputy and Herald resident Adam Gibson was shot and killed, along with his K-9 partner, inside the Cal Expo Complex in Sacramento.
Just after 10 p.m. Monday, Jan. 18, Sheriff deputies saw an occupied vehicle in a parking lot near Arden Way and Avondale Avenue that matched the description of a vehicle involved in a series of burglaries, according to a Sacramento County Sheriff’s Office press release.
“Deputies initiated contact with the single occupant of the vehicle and were able to identify the subject as being on active parole,” the release said. “The subject became uncooperative and fled in his vehicle when deputies attempted to search the vehicle.”
After a short pursuit, terminating inside of the Cal Expo Complex the suspect vehicle became disabled after striking a curb and came to rest near a chain-link fence.
According to the release, multiple patrol units gathered at the termination point to assist the initial deputies.
“Deputies gave several commands for the suspect to exit his vehicle and he refused,” the release said. “Deputies deployed less-lethal bean bag rounds into the suspect vehicle’s back window in an attempt to see inside. A K-9 handler deployed his K-9 into the back window of the vehicle at which time several shots were fired from within the vehicle. Two deputies and the canine were struck by the suspect’s gunfire. Multiple deputies returned fire.”
Fellow deputies transported the wounded officers to an area hospital where 31-year-old Deputy Adam Gibson of Herald was pronounced deceased. Gibson was a six-year veteran of the force.
Deputy Gibson leaves behind his wife Rachel Gibson, 9-month-old child, his parents Doug and Sandee Gibson and several siblings. Deputy Gibson served in the United States Marine Corps and did two tours in Afghanistan.
Since joining the department in 2014 he has worked in corrections, patrol and most recently a canine handler. Deputy Gibson received the Sheriff’s Office Bronze Star for Bravery and a Major Incident Ribbon in 2018.
The second deputy was stabilized and transported to a trauma center for further treatment.
K-9 Riley died at the scene. Riley was 5-years-old and had been in service with the Sacramento County Sheriff’s Office for three years.
Fire department personnel arrived on scene and pronounced the sole occupant of the suspect vehicle deceased at the scene. The subject was later identified as Robert Stephen Calderon, 46, who, according to Assemblymember Jim Cooper, had an “extensive criminal history.”
This investigation is ongoing. No further information was available as of press time.
Cooper response to the shooting
This is the second sheriff deputy to be shot and killed within four days of each other.
Friday night, Jan. 16, a Sacramento County Gang Suppression Deputy was shot conducting a follow-up investigation of a shooting. In that incident, the suspect was also a parolee and had been released under the Post Release Community Supervision (PRCS) Act, a program instituted under the 2011 California Legislature. Under the Act, a felon, after serving a prison term if eligible is released from prison under PCRS and is only supervised by a county agency rather than the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR).
Cooper released a statement Tuesday condemning the state’s “soft on crime laws” and blaming these recent incidents on the premature release of convicted felons.
“Under the PCRS Act of 2011, felons who commit crimes as egregious as assault with a deadly weapon and domestic violence are released into our communities with little to no monitoring due to the lack of resources at the county level,” Cooper said. “I’ve said this before, California’s decade of soft on crime laws are endangering the public and our first responders. Victims’ rights groups and legal experts have all warned that California’s criminal justice reform laws such as AB 109 and Proposition 57 would lead to increased crime and risks to the public’s safety, as well as to our law enforcement officers.”
Cooper continued, “Felons that have been convicted of serious violent crimes such as assault with a deadly weapon and domestic violence should never be released under minimal supervision under parole. These parolees should be heavily supervised by the CDCR. Counties were never equipped to supervise violent felons. The families of the officers injured and killed in two separate incidents in just four days deserve better, our communities deserve better.”
Cooper said that lawmakers need to prioritize the safety of the public.
“California continues to release violent criminals onto our streets that have no regard for our laws because they know they will face little to no consequences,” Cooper said. “California lawmakers must stop prioritizing the release of violent criminals and instead prioritize protecting the public’s safety.”