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Accused Deputy Shooter Congdon Charged With Attempted Murder

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Deputy John Erickson, bullet holes in truck
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Michael James Congdon, who is accused of shooting a Fresno County deputy with a semi-automatic rifle on Tuesday, faces a sentence of 64 years to life, the Fresno County District Attorney’s Office said Friday morning.
Congdon, 57, is scheduled to make his first court appearance at 8:30 a.m. Monday for arraignment. He remains in Fresno County Jail with bail set at more than $1.9 million.


— Michael James Congdon
The DA’s Office said in a news release that Congdon is charged with felony attempted murder, along with other charges stemming from an ambush shooting that broke deputy John Erickson’s leg.
A civilian accompanying Erickson on a ride-along was uninjured in the attack.

Deputy Is on the Road to Recovery

The Fresno County Sheriff’s Office said in a Facebook post on Thursday that Erickson’s health is improving. He underwent surgery for the broken leg and internal injuries after the shooting.

Congdon Charged With These Felonies

The complaint filed Friday alleges that Congdon committed these felonies:
— attempted murder of Erickson;
— attempted murder of the deputy’s ride-along passenger;
— shooting at an occupied vehicle causing great bodily injury;
— assault on a peace officer with a semiautomatic firearm causing great bodily injury;
— and cruelty to an animal.
The DA’s Office said that if Congdon is convicted of the charges and special allegations, he faces a sentence of  64 years to life in prison. However, after serving 25 years, he would be eligible for release
under the state’s elderly parole program.

Suspect Initiated Gunfight

Deputies responding to a call about a rural property line dispute involving Congdon and a neighbor came under fire from a shed. The gunfight occurred in the vicinity of Quail Springs Lane in the Burrough Valley area of the Sierra foothills, south of Tollhouse.
Another deputy on scene ushered the civilian to safety, fired in the direction of the suspect, and then dragged Erickson a considerable distance to a safe place. Erickson was loaded into California Highway Patrol helicopter and flown to the hospital.
Sheriff Margaret Mims said it took about an hour to rescue the deputy, who hid in bushes. Congdon surrendered after about 2 ½ hours of hiding in the shed.

Sheriff Mims Discusses the Shooting