ICE released a statement about a man who died after shooting at a California deputy on Feb. 17. Javier Hernandez-Morales was an illegal alien from Mexico who had been convicted of multiple crimes and deported three times.
“This incident may have been prevented if ICE had been notified about any of the multiple times Hernandez-Morales was released from local custody over the last few years,” stated ICE. “This is an impactful, scary example of how public safety is affected by laws or policies limiting local law enforcement agencies’ ability to cooperate with ICE.”
The suspect who opened fire on a Deputy was in the Country illegally and had been arrested multiple times. In keeping with the State’s Sanctuary status, ICE issued three prior detainers to Napa County Jail – none of which were honored.https://t.co/wSwi3vp3pp pic.twitter.com/DTkWe4FAJ6
— LawEnforcementToday (@LawEnforceToday) February 22, 2019
In the deputy’s body camera video, Hernandez-Morales can be seen firing at Deputy Riley Jarecki from behind his driver seat window. The deputy dodged the bullets and after recovering and calling for support, she fired a fatal barrage of bullets at the driver.
Body cam video shows a man shoot at a Napa County sheriff’s deputy, who then returns fire. https://t.co/gtwOkxLtBQ
Image: Napa County Sheriff’s Office pic.twitter.com/C67OoHOezb
— BakersfieldNow (@bakersfieldnow) February 22, 2019
Criminal History Unveiled
It was found that Hernandez-Morales used a stolen revolver to shoot at the deputy, according to the Napa Valley Register. He also had several aliases. ICE listed his criminal history, which included local arrests for DUI, battery on a peace officer, selling liquor to a minor, and probation violations—on top of two deportations in 2007 and one in 2010.
ICE submitted detainers to local law enforcement in attempts to detain Hernandez-Morales following his arrests, but all attempts were disregarded.
“It’s unfortunate that our law enforcement partners and the community are subjected to dangerous consequences because of inflexible state laws that protect criminal aliens,” stated ICE.
In 2017, California Gov. Jerry Brown signed the California Values Act (SB 54). The bill limits the cooperation between local law enforcement and the federal government, which in turn serves as a layer of protection for illegal aliens, especially those who commit other crimes.
OMG! Look at this sign someone put up on the 15 Freeway between LA and Las Vegas!
— Kambree Kawahine Koa (@KamVTV) January 1, 2018
What Does This Mean For the Law?
ABC7 asked Napa County Supervisor Belia Ramos if this case would bring change to the law, whereby she responded that compliance with the state law is what Napa County will do, regardless of what discussions may come in the future.
Hernandez-Morales’s intention for shooting at the deputy is still unclear. Undersheriff Crawford said in a press conference posted by CBS that his family was contacted after his death.
And as for the bullets that missed their mark—Crawford called them “divine intervention.”