Fresno Jail Shooting: Thong Vang Critically Injures Two Correctional Officers In Early Morning Shooting

An early morning shooting Saturday at a Fresno jail critically injured two correction officers. Thong Vang, a 37-year-old convicted rapist, entered the jail around 8:30 a.m. to visit someone and was reportedly exhibiting odd behavior. The Fresno Bee reports that Vang went to the front of the line but was told to go to the back.

Sheriff Margaret Mims held a press conference announcing that Officers Juanita Davila and Toamalama Scanlan were in surgery at Community Regional Medical Center.

According to Sheriff Mims about 15 people, including children, were in the lobby waiting to enter the jail. Vang was acting erratic and was pacing around near the metal detector that led to the secure area of the jail.

Before the shooting began at the jail in Fresno, Officer Davila approached Thong Vang and tried to get him to sit down. At that point, Vang pulled out a gun and shot both Officers Davila and Scanlan in the head or neck area. Davila is listed in critical but stable condition, and Scanlan is listed in critical condition.

The jail’s policy is that they do not arm the officers working in the facility. Officers did try to use a stun gun on Vang, but it was unsuccessful in stopping him. According to Mims, a lieutenant in the corrections office fired at Vang and exchanged fire with him, but Vang suddenly surrendered and said he wanted to be arrested. Vang was reportedly injured during the altercation, although it appears to just have been scrapes and cuts that he was treated for.

Before the Fresno jail shooting, Thong Vang had served 16 years in jail for raping three children ranging in age from 12 to 14. He was released from prison in 2014. The case reportedly involved the Mongolian Boys Society sex-slave ring at a local Motel 6, and there were 16 defendants when it began. His initial charges were six counts of rape in concert with others, six counts of forcible rape, and one count of false imprisonment. This was after he had already been sentenced to 19 years in prison for charges relating to an earlier investigation into the sex-slave ring.

Thong Vang, Fresno Jail Shooter. [Photo by Fresno County Sheriff/AP Images]
During the altercation, Thong Vang ran into a hallway, however, when confronted by a deputy shooting at him, he allegedly dropped his weapon and surrendered saying he wanted to be arrested. After being held at gunpoint while the officers were treated, Vang was booked into the jail and charged with attempted murder, being a felon with a handgun, bringing drugs into a jail and was also placed on a parole hold.

Officer Davila has worked at the jail for more than 18 years and is a mother and grandmother. Officer Scanlan, who had worked at the Fresno Jail for approximately 10 years, had previously worked in youth corrections for seven years. He is a father of six and used to play football for the Fresno State Bulldogs. It is reported that he is currently a lineman coach for Fresno Christian High School. The Fresno State Bulldogs sent out a tweet in support of the injured officer saying that the Bulldog family was praying for him.

Since his release from jail, Vang had complied with all the terms of his release and there was no indication that he might do something like this. During her press conference, Mims spoke about Vang, saying the following.

“This guy’s a prison inmate, he’s a convict, he’s a parolee. And maybe [prison is] where he belongs for the rest of his life.”

Officers Davila and Scanlan remain in critical condition Sunday afternoon according to the Fresno Bee, although Officer Davila is reported to be stable.

[Photo by Larry W. Smith/Getty Images]

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