Friday, August 1, 2014
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

Mr. Clean: Dennis Regan offers friendly jokes, with a bite

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: B1

 
‘Boyhood’ mature on music, moments

By Nick DeCicco | From Page: B1

Gemstones shine at Solano County Fair

By Barry Eberling | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
Trifecta: ‘The Who’s Tommy’ third play in three months

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
Japan Summerfest returns this month

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A3

 
Vallejo police arrest suspect in shooting death

By Barry Eberling | From Page: A4 | Gallery

 
Highway 12 to close overnight in Jameson Canyon

By Barry Eberling | From Page: A4

Fairfield man settles suit against Raley’s

By Ryan McCarthy | From Page: A4

 
Air district calls Spare the Air alert

By Barry Eberling | From Page: A4, 1 Comment

Solano Tea Party Patriots schedule meet

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A4

 
Details limited after shooting leaves 1 with injuries

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A4

Stabbing victim dies in Vacaville

By Barry Eberling | From Page: A5

 
Suisun City police log: July 30, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A12

Fairfield police log: July 30, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A12

 
.

US / World

Union: California prison staff told to fake checks

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
Abbas seeks broad support for war crimes charges

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

Dow plunges as multiple worries vex investors

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
A look at the impact of Wisconsin’s union law

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

Wisconsin Supreme Court upholds 2011 union law

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

 
As US job market strengthens, many don’t feel it

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

US, UN announce deal on 72-hour Gaza cease-fire

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
Appellate court overturns high-speed rail rulings

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

Report: Secrecy enveloped Bay Bridge construction

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

 
Californians to see increase in health plan costs

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

Candidate goes homeless to show economic gap

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5 | Gallery

 
Yosemite wildfire weakened, evacuations to end

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

California ex-mayor sentenced in corruption case

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

 
US warns against traveling to Ebola-hit countries

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6, 1 Comment

CIA spied on Senate, internal review finds

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

 
Investigators reach Ukraine jet wreckage site

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7 | Gallery

See-through mice reveal details of inner anatomy

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

 
Congress races to finish VA, highway bills

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

NASA to test making rocket fuel ingredient on Mars

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

 
Demoted worker shoots CEO, kills self in Chicago

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

.

Opinion

Nice guy becomes House majority leader

By Dan Walters | From Page: A11

 
Editorial Cartoons: Aug. 1, 2014

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A11

 
Why do so many Americans support Hamas

By Letter to the Editor | From Page: A11, 1 Comment

To err is human – but not in print

By Bud Stevenson | From Page: A11

 
Should union organizing be a civil right?

By Ben Boychuk and Joel Mathis | From Page: A11

.

Living

Community Calendar: Aug. 1, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A2

 
Today in History for Aug. 1, 2014

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

My irregular monthly cycles were a symptom of cancer, not menopause

By Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar | From Page: A9

 
Horoscopes for Aug. 1, 2014

By Holiday Mathis | From Page: A9

.

Entertainment

Week in preview Aug. 1-7, 2014

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: B1

 
Review: Boseman drips with charisma as James Brown

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
‘Godfather of Makeup’ Dick Smith dead at 92

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Dionne Warwick knows her way to San Jose

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

 
Starz’ ‘Outlander’ brings novels to life vibrantly

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

Entertainment calendar Aug. 1, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: B4

 
‘Sharknado 2′ whipped up storm of viewers, tweets

By The Associated Press | From Page: B5

TVGrid

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
.

Sports

A’s deal Tommy Milone to Twins for Sam Fuld

By The Associated Press | From Page: B7

 
Expos fall short in 10-9 loss to Leghorns

By Paul Farmer | From Page: B7

Chekwa taking reps with Raiders while Hayden sits

By The Associated Press | From Page: B7 | Gallery

 
A’s get Lester, Gomes from Red Sox for Cespedes

By The Associated Press | From Page: B7 | Gallery

Safety Bethea finding a groove with new 49ers team

By The Associated Press | From Page: B7 | Gallery

 
Dumdumaya takes third in World Junior/Junior Olympic tourney

By Daily Republic staff | From Page: B8

Lynch ends holdout, arrives at Seahawks camp

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

 
Commonwealth Games athlete convicted for assault on rival

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

Rich get richer: Rays’ Price traded to Tigers

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8 | Gallery

 
Dustin Johnson takes leave of absence from golf

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

Mudcats get 15-7 win in Auburn Classic

By Daily Republic staff | From Page: B8

 
Another decent start for Woods at Firestone

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8 | Gallery

Phelps to compete in 4 events at US nationals

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

 
Ravens’ Rice: His actions ‘totally inexcusable’

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

AP Source: Trump advances in Bills sale process

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

 
Nick Watney leads PGA Barracuda Championship

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

Derrick Brooks set standard for NFL linebackers

By The Associated Press | From Page: B9 | Gallery

 
Signups for Friday, Aug. 1, 2014

By Paul Farmer | From Page: B9

.

Business

Daimler launches new version of tiny Smart car

By The Associated Press | From Page: C1

 
Debit overdraft fees often exceed cost of purchase

By The Associated Press | From Page: B11

In San Francisco real estate, $1M won’t buy much

By The Associated Press | From Page: B11

 
Facebook’s Internet.org expands in Zambia

By The Associated Press | From Page: B11

Iliad of France makes surprise bid for T-Mobile US

By The Associated Press | From Page: B11

 
Target taps outsider as CEO for needed shakeup

By The Associated Press | From Page: B11

SeaWorld, Southwest Airlines ending partnership

By The Associated Press | From Page: B11

 
Panasonic, Tesla to build big US battery plant

By The Associated Press | From Page: B11

.

Obituaries

Clifford C. Hemler

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4, 1 Comment

 
.

Comics

Zits

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Baldo

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Garfield

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
B.C.

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Dilbert

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Rose is Rose

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Frank and Ernest

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Sally Forth

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Wizard of Id

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Blondie

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Pickles

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Baby Blues

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Peanuts

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Beetle Bailey

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

For Better or Worse

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Get Fuzzy

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Sudoku

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

 
Crossword

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

Bridge

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

 
Cryptoquote

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

Word Sleuth

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9