On February 25, 2010, California Highway Patrol Officers Sean Haller, and Rafael Rivera performed an extraordinary act of heroism at great risk to their personal safety when they extricated a fallen officer from the line of fire.
At approximately 9:45 a.m., the Fresno County Sheriff's office attempted to serve a search warrant in the town if Minkler. As the deputies attempted to breach the door of the residence, they came under intense gunfire from within the residence, fatally wounding one of the deputies. They immediately broadcast "shots fired" over the radio.
As Officer Haller was arriving on-scene, he could hear the sounds of gunfire. He located the officers who were engaged with the subject and stopped his patrol vehicle. He exited and immediately engaged the suspect. Officer Rivera arrived and took up a position of cover next to Officer Haller. Both engaged the suspect in gunfire for an unknown amount of time when someone gave a "cease-fire" command. This was followed by approximately 30 minutes of no shooting.
Without notice, the suspect again began firing from an unseen location within the residence. Fearing for their safety and the safety of the officers on-scene, both officers returned fire towards the mobile home. During this exchange, Officer Rivera heard someone yell "officer down." Without regard for his safety, he broke cover and exposed himself to great bodily injury, and immediately moved towards the downed officer.
Officer Rivera recognized the officer as Reedley Police Officer Javier Bejar and began to remove him from harm's way. Officer Haller observed the suspect fire directly towards Officer Rivera. He broke cover and engaged the suspect in gunfire in an attempt to provide covering fire for the extrication effort. In doing so, Officer Haller exposed himself to great bodily harm. Although Officer Bejar did not survive, Officers Haller and Rivera exhibited great personal courage while putting themselves in great danger to help save the life of another.
The State of California takes great pride in presenting California Highway Patrol Officers Sean Haller and Rafael Rivera, this citation and Medal of Valor, for an extraordinary act of heroism extending far above and beyond the normal call of duty or service.