Rookie Rushed to Fallen Officer's Aid: Transcripts

By Paul Krueger
|  Thursday, Feb 21, 2013  |  Updated 6:57 AM PDT
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A hero has emerged in the tragic death of a San Diego police officer.

Grand jury transcripts obtained by NBC 7 News reveal new details about the murder of Officer Christopher Wilson and the efforts of a colleague who rushed to Wilson’s side after the fatal shooting.

Wilson was killed in an October 2010 gun battle with two suspected drug dealers at an apartment building in the Skyline neighborhood.

The grand jury transcripts, which were made public after NBC 7 fought a legal battle to ensure their release, reveal that a rookie female officer, Marisela Hernandez, ran back into the apartment building after Wilson was shot.

The sergeant on the scene had “forcefully” pulled Hernandez out of the apartment by her belt, to protect her safety.

Other officers were also ordered to leave the line of fire.

According to the transcripts, it was Officer Hernandez’s first experience at a “live fire” scene.

Shots were still being fired by officers who remained in the hallway and were trying to subdue the suspects, who were hiding in a bedroom.

Hernandez was barely five feet tall and weighed 120 pounds.

Deputy District Attorney Michael Runyon told the grand jurors, “Officer Hernandez, the only female of the group of San Diego Police Officers, the smallest by far of all the San Diego Police Officers on scene that night. She's the first one who realizes as they're retreating, that officer Wilson, 6'4", 240, big guy, is down; and that she's being ordered to retreat outside. She disobeys an order and runs back in and starts grabbing on somebody literally almost twice her size weight-wise and is trying to drag him out of the location."

Hernandez also testified about what happened that terrible night.

“I holstered my firearm, I returned into the apartment, and I started lifting Officer Wilson up so that I could pull him out,” she told the 19 jurors.

Prosecutor Runyon asked her what she did next.

“I lifted Officer Wilson’s head, and I could see the gunshot on his head. I started lifting him up into a seated position, so I could hook my arms underneath him. And I actually managed to drag him back about a foot or so. After that, I saw Sergeant Mitchell come in with me, and he told me, ‘Take his hand.’ And he – I took his left hand, and we pulled him out.”

It was too late to save Wilson’s life.

He had suffered a fatal gunshot wound to the head.

The transcripts also reveal the efforts of a Deputy U.S. Marshal who tried to keep Wilson alive.

“I was trying to communicate with him, Michael Banez told the jurors. “Trying to just, you know, ‘Stay with me. Stay with me. You are going to be okay. Fight. Fight. You have something to live for. Fight for it. Stay with me.’”

But Banez told the jurors, “I saw an officer die in my hands.”

The two suspects who police say fired the shots that killed Officer Wilson also died that night.

Police say they shot themselves while holed up in that bedroom.

The three other suspects who were in the house are now charged with murder and other felonies.

Prosecutors say they are responsible for Wilson’s death because their illegal actions that night created a dangerous situation that led to the officer’s murder.
 

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