The man suspected of fatally shooting a Modoc County Sheriff’s deputy Wednesday was identified on as Jack Lee Breiner, 47, of Alturas, Modoc County Undersheriff William Tex Dowdy said in a press conference Thursday.
Breiner is accused of shooting 31-year-old Jack Hopkins, who was responding to a family disturbance call Wednesday at around 10:30 a.m. in a rural parcel roughly 8 miles south of Alturas, Dowdy said. Hopkins, who worked with the department since 2015, died immediately after being shot, according to the Sheriff’s Department. Authorities said Hopkins had entered a property to investigate the call, where he later confronted Breiner, and shot.
Modoc County Sheriff Mike Poindexter also faced minor injuries after intercepting Breiner, who fled in his car following the shooting, at a nearby street, Dowdy said. The two men exchanged gunfire until Poindexter was able to wound Breiner, Dowdy said.
Breiner was treated at the scene Wednesday before being taken into custody. Authorities said Breiner was in a Redding hospital on Thursday and is expected to survive.
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He faced non-life threatening injuries, including a shotgun wound to his leg, according to spokeswoman Kristen Wilburn, a California Highway Patrol officer. Wilburn said she was not sure how many times Breiner had been shot.
Hopkins is the fourth law enforcement officer in California to die in the line of duty in the last two weeks. The slaying comes after two Palm Springs police officers were shot to death during a domestic disturbance call and a Los Angeles County sheriff's sergeant was shot and killed in the high desert town of Lancaster while answering a burglary call.
“We are thankful for the countless impressions of support we have received in the aftermath of Jack’s tragic death,” Dowdy said during the press conference.
Hopkin’s body was transported to his family in Redding Thursday morning, which was accompanied by a large procession of law enforcement.
“The streets were lined with several people from the community with banners,” Wilburn said.
California Attorney General Kamala D. Harris issued a statement Thursday morning following Hopkins’ shooting.
“Yesterday, Modoc County Sheriff’s Deputy Jack Hopkins was killed in the line of duty, making the ultimate sacrifice,” Harris said in the press release. “On behalf of the California Department of Justice, I extend my deepest condolences to Deputy Hopkins’ loved ones and the entire Modoc County Sheriff’s Office.”
Dowdy said Hopkins worked as an officer for the Alturas Police Department before beginning his work as a sheriff’s deputy with Modoc County. He had five siblings and raised in the small community of Montague in Siskiyou County, Dowdy said.
A criminal investigation into Hopkin’s death will be handled by the Butte County Sheriff’s Office under the direction of Lassen County Sheriff Dean Growdon. An administrative investigation into the shooting, which will focus on use of force from a policy and procedures and is routine in officer-involved shootings, will be handled by the California Highway Patrol, Dowdy said.
Wilburn said that officials have not yet charged Breiner with any crime and are waiting for his release from the hospital.
A memorial service for Hopkins is in the works, Dowdy said. Breiner is listed as a registered sex offender in California.