Child rapist opens fire at Fresno County Jail, critically injuring 2 deputies
PUBLISHED Sat, September 03, 2016 - 5:27pm EDT
Two correctional officers have been critically injured after a man opened fire inside the lobby of the Fresno County Jail in California, officials say. The suspect - a convicted child rapist who served his sentence - has been arrested. (more)
The incident happened at around 9 a.m. PT on Saturday as people arrived at the Fresno County Jail for visitation hours. About 15 people, including children, were waiting in line at the jail's lobby when a man opened fire.
Officers responded to calls of an active shooter and located two injured deputies in the lobby, after which they were dragged out into ambulances and rushed to an area hospital. The suspected shooter surrendered and was taken into custody without incident.
Fresno County Sheriff Margaret Mims said two deputies - Juanita Davila and Toamalama Scanlan - were both shot in the head or neck and were critically injured. They underwent surgery and remained in a critical but stable condition on Saturday afternoon.
The suspect - who was identified as 37-year-old Thong Vang - allegedly told deputies that he wanted to go back to jail. Vang was arrested in 1998 for allegedly participating in the brutal gang rape of three young girls. He was convicted on multiple rape charge and served 16 years in prison.
According to a 1998 article in the Daily Courier newspaper, the gang rape involved three runaway girls; one 12-year-old girl and two 13-year-old girls. The girls told police that they were stranded and asked a friend to give them a ride, but they were instead taken to a motel where as many as 16 men and boys repeatedly beat and raped them.
One of those arrested was Thong Vang, who was 18 years old at the time.