Monday, January 26, 2015
FAIRFIELD-SUISUN, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

Detective Mark Smith survives 1989 shooting

ff cop shot

By
From page A2 | April 04, 2014 |

Former Fairfield police Detective Mark Smith is grateful to be alive, 25 years after being shot and seriously wounded by a suspected drug dealer.

At 1:42 a.m. Feb. 24, 1989, the Oakland Police Department, with assistance from Fairfield police, went to search the home of Roberto Adolpho Ramirez on Hayes Street in Fairfield.

“In the late ’80s, Bay Area law enforcement cracked down using task forces. The big-time drug dealers moved to the suburbs, but sold drugs in the larger cities,” Smith said. “Ramirez was a model citizen in Fairfield, but was moving kilos of cocaine in the Bay Area.”

Police identified themselves in English and Spanish, then attempted to force their way into the house. Ramirez fired a .357-caliber revolver at the police, hitting Oakland officer Marc Burrell and Smith.

“The house had a room built into the garage, which was at a 90-degree angle to the front door and Ramirez’s son was sleeping in there. He actually stood over his son’s bed when he shot out the windows sideways at the officers that were at the front door,” Smith said. “I was at the opposite corner looking toward the back of the house to see if anybody came out of the windows.”

Smith was knocked to the ground by the force of the shot, which went between the panels of his bulletproof vest. His aorta, liver, pancreas and large bowel sustained serious damage.

“Most doctors that look at the record told me it was a 99 percent fatal injury. With an abdominal injury, if it doesn’t kill you, the infections usually do,” Smith said.

Officer Burrell was shot in the arm and treated and released from NorthBay Medical Center. Smith spent the next three months there.

The shooting of Smith came just a few years after two Solano County law enforcement officers were killed in the line of duty. Fairfield Police Sgt. Art Koch was shot July 28, 1984, responding to a disturbance call, and Deputy Jose Cisneros was gunned down Aug. 25, 1985, by two juveniles who had stolen a van.

After shooting Smith and Burrell, Ramirez holed up in his house. At 3:45 a.m., he surrendered and used the same son whose bed he had shot over at officers as a human shield. The search yielded 40 ounces of cocaine worth $30,000.

In 1991, Smith retired from police work, but three years later began working for the Stanislaus County District Attorney’s Office, where he stayed for nearly 18 years before retiring.

Ramirez was charged with two counts of attempted murder, along with several drug and assault charges. His wife Eladia was also arrested for possession of cocaine. Before they could be tried, they skipped bail and have never been brought to justice.

“Ramirez was allowed to post a $500,000 property bond straight to the county on a gas station in East Los Angeles that his friend owned that was appraised at $750,000. He didn’t have to go through a bail bondsman, who would have done his due diligence to determine if the property was actually worth that much,” Smith said. “His judge later apologized to me.”

Smith discovered the county had not gone after the property after Ramirez skipped town. Due to a leaking underground gasoline tank that contaminated the soil, it was not worth the bond.

In a search for justice, Smith contacted TV shows “America’s Most Wanted” and “Unsolved Mysteries” and the latter did a profile that aired Dec. 8, 1995. In 2006, Ramirez’s daughter, interviewed by Fairfield and Stanislaus County investigators, said her father died in Mexico, but that has not been proven.

Smith has a few lingering effects from the shooting, but looks back on his extended hospital stay as the grueling part.

“Getting shot once is nowhere near as painful as the treatment. I was poked and prodded. I had an IV they had to redo every three days and they used up all the veins in my arms so they had to start sticking needles in my feet,” Smith said. “I never had a fear of getting shot again, but after spending three months there, I do have a fear of hospitals.”

Reach Fairfield writer Tony Wade at toekneeweighed@gmail.com.

Tony Wade

Tony Wade

Tony Wade is the slightly older yet infinitely more handsome brother of long-time DR columnist Kelvin Wade
LEAVE A COMMENT

Discussion | 3 comments

The Daily Republic does not necessarily condone the comments here, nor does it review every post. Read our full policy

  • mescApril 04, 2014 - 9:32 am

    Officer Smith was an upstanding citizen who was shot in the line of duty protecting us from criminal perps who have no regard for life. ^5 Team Smith

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • Geraldine SmithApril 04, 2014 - 12:48 pm

    Thank you Tony Wade for writing this article. Mark is my son, and that time was the worse thing we ever had to go through. I don't remember some of the things you and Mark mentioned, but that isn't unusual, it was a very hard time. Thanks again for reminding the public of what Mark had to go through.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • ElleryApril 04, 2014 - 8:53 pm

    Back in the 80's I did a 1 year tour of duty living on Phoenix Dr here in FF. My neighbors apartment was a crack house. It was a good sight to see Officer Smith ridding my complex of these crackheads, He seemed very ambitious, for this I was thankful. Few months later he took a bullet for our city. Glad to here he had a very productive career after this event. Thank you .

    Reply | Report abusive comment
.

Solano News

Teen finds entrepreneurial path at young age

By Susan Winlow | From Page: A1, 2 Comments | Gallery

 
Time for Relay for Life kickoff event

By Tony Wade | From Page: A2

 
Fairfield schedules workshop on downtown plan

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A3

Suisun Senior Center offers monthly dance

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A3

 
 
Wedding Faire offers one-stop browsing for couples

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A3, 1 Comment | Gallery

 
Crab feed tradition continues this week

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A3

Local government agencies post meeting times

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A3

 
.

US / World

 
Millions of GMO insects could be released in Florida Keys

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

Boy shot by Los Angeles deputies treated for graze wound

By The Associated Press | From Page: A4

 
US gas prices fell 13 cents per gallon, but expected to rise

By The Associated Press | From Page: A4

2 Marines identified in deadly California helicopter crash

By The Associated Press | From Page: A4

 
Santa Ana winds knock out power to thousands in California

By The Associated Press | From Page: A4

Obama to seek wilderness designation for Alaska refuge

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

 
Navy wants to increase use of sonar-emitting buoys

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

 
Ukraine: Phone calls prove rebels attacked city, killed 30

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

Zambia: Edgar Lungu sworn in as new president

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

 
Greek radical left wins election, threatening market turmoil

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

‘Potentially historic’ storm headed for Northeast

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

 
Balloon crew launches in bid to break 2 major records

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

Obama: Counterterrorism operations in Yemen not affected

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

 
Zoo offers creepy way for lovelorn to get even with exes

By The Associated Press | From Page: A9

 
.

Opinion

Democracy or republic?

By Earl Heal | From Page: A8, 7 Comments

 
Editorial Cartoon: Jan. 26, 2015

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Do elected officials get it?

By Letter to the Editor | From Page: A8, 6 Comments

 
.

Living

Community Calendar: Jan. 26, 2015

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A2

 
Today in History: Jan. 26, 2015

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

Horoscope Jan. 27, 2015

By Holiday Mathis | From Page: B5

 
My sister is jobless and homeless and I’m not sure how to help

By Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar | From Page: A7

 
Horoscope Jan. 26, 2015

By Holiday Mathis | From Page: A7

.

Entertainment

TVGrid Jan 26

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
TVGrid Jan 27

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7

 
Miss Colombia crowned Miss Universe in Miami

By The Associated Press | From Page: B7

‘Birdman’ tops SAG Awards, Redmayne upsets Keaton

By The Associated Press | From Page: B7

 
Complete list of winners at 21st annual SAG Awards

By The Associated Press | From Page: B7

.

Sports

Curry leads Warriors to 19th straight home win

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

 
The Week Ahead: Plenty of action close to home

By Paul Farmer | From Page: B1

Serena Williams to meet Cibulkova in Aussie Open quarters

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

 
Watt gets 2 turnovers, dances in friendly Pro Bowl

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

Tavares scores 4, Team Toews outscores Team Foligno, 17-12

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

 
Coach K gets 1,000th win as No. 5 Duke tops St. John’s 77-68

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Quinn has led Seattle to record-setting defense

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Chip Ganassi Racing’s ‘star car’ wins Rolex 24 at Daytona

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Patriots’ Browner gets a 2nd chance at a Super Bowl ring

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Family attorney: Cubs great Ernie Banks died of heart attack

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Bill Haas pulls away to win Humana Challenge

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Jeff Gordon to be Fox guest analyst during XFINITY season

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Sherman doubts any punishment ahead for Patriots

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
AP Source: Browns WR Josh Gordon fails another drug test

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

AP Interview: Selig says MLB could expand internationally

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
.

Business

.

Obituaries

Don Johnson

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4, 6 Comments

 
Thomas Clark

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

.

Comics

Pickles Jan 27

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Sally Forth Jan 27

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Baldo Jan 27

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Wizard of Id Jan 27

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Rose is Rose Jan 27

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Frank and Ernest Jan 27

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Beetle Bailey Jan 27

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Blondie Jan 27

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Get Fuzzy Jan 27

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Zits Jan 27

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

B.C. Jan 27

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Peanuts Jan 27

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

For Better or Worse Jan 27

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Dilbert Jan 27

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Garfield Jan 27

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Baby Blues Jan 27

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Word Sleuth Jan 27

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

 
Sudoku Jan 27

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

Cryptoquote Jan 27

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

 
Bridge Jan 27

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

Crossword Jan 27

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

 
Baldo Jan 26

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

Baby Blues Jan 26

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

 
Rose is Rose Jan 26

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

Sally Forth Jan 26

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

 
Dilbert Jan 26

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

Zits Jan 26

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

 
Wizard of Id Jan 26

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

Get Fuzzy Jan 26

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

 
Beetle Bailey Jan 26

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

Pickles Jan 26

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

 
Garfield Jan 26

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

B.C. Jan 26

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

 
For Better or Worse Jan 26

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

Peanuts Jan 26

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

 
Frank and Ernest Jan 26

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

Blondie Jan 26

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

 
Cryptoquote Jan 26

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A7

Bridge Jan 26

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A7

 
Word Sleuth Jan 26

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A7

Crossword Jan 26

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A7

 
Sudoku Jan 26

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A7