Wednesday, October 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

 
Middle school students put school candidates on the hot seat

By Susan Winlow | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
Suisun City candidates get lively in 2nd council forum

By Ian Thompson | From Page: A1, 9 Comments | Gallery

 
Solano focuses on rail safety

By Barry Eberling | From Page: A3, 1 Comment

 
 
Booz and Brewz benefit for the Blue Star Moms

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A4

Police search for missing man

By Glen Faison | From Page: A4 | Gallery

 
Blessing of the animals slated Sunday

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A5, 2 Comments

 
Travis airman killed in motorcycle accident

By Ian Thompson | From Page: A5

Caltrans cancels nighttime Highway 37 closures

By Barry Eberling | From Page: A5

 
Salvation Army gears up for annual Red Kettle campaign

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A5, 1 Comment | Gallery

 
Theaters primed for bevy of new movies

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A7

Fairfield police log: Sept. 29, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A9, 2 Comments

 
Suisun City police log: Sept. 29, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A9

Fairfield police log: Sept. 27, 2014

By Glen Faison | From Page: A9, 2 Comments

 
Suisun City police log: Sept. 28, 2014

By Glen Faison | From Page: A9

Suisun City police log: Sept. 27, 2014

By Glen Faison | From Page: A9

 
Fairfield police log: Sept. 28, 2014

By Glen Faison | From Page: A9, 2 Comments

Third Annual Ride to Defeat Diabetes is Sunday

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A10

 
4-H Achievement Night honors county members

By Susan Winlow | From Page: A10

Measure A committee plans weekend precinct walk

By Susan Winlow | From Page: A10

 
FBI announces reward for Vacaville bank robber

By Jess Sullivan | From Page: A10

 
American Legion seeks Korean War veterans for award

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A10

.

US / World

Forest areas reopen after huge fire

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

 
Hong Kong leader refuses to meet with protesters

By The Associated Press | From Page: B7

Secret Service chief on hot seat for WH breach

By The Associated Press | From Page: B7

 
Afghan pact signed amid questions on Iraq pullout

By The Associated Press | From Page: B7

Luck, instinct determined fates of volcano hikers

By The Associated Press | From Page: A9

 
Government confirms first case of Ebola in US

By The Associated Press | From Page: A9

Mayor of suburban Los Angeles city killed

By The Associated Press | From Page: A9, 1 Comment

 
Crash, suspicious device lead to 101 closure in LA

By The Associated Press | From Page: A9

Gov. Brown governor vetoes ethics bills

By The Associated Press | From Page: A9, 6 Comments

 
Police on manhunt find pipe bombs in woods

By The Associated Press | From Page: A9

Oklahoma man charged with murder in beheading

By The Associated Press | From Page: A9

 
California becomes first state to ban plastic bags

By The Associated Press | From Page: A11, 6 Comments

Bay Area looks to expand overnight transit options

By The Associated Press | From Page: A12

 
Gov. Jerry Brown signs California gun restriction

By The Associated Press | From Page: A12, 13 Comments

.

Living

Community Calendar: Oct. 1, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A2

 
Today in History: Oct. 1, 2014

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

 
Horoscopes: Oct. 1, 2014

By Holiday Mathis | From Page: B5

 
The flavor of fall – pumpkin pie in a cinnamon bun

By The Associated Press | From Page: B6, 1 Comment

One simple slicing trick to bake a beautiful tart

By Sara Moulton | From Page: B6

 
.

Entertainment

TVGrid

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A5

 
Morgan: ‘Can’t believe’ Walmart blaming him

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

.

Sports

Royals beat A’s 9-8 in 12 in AL wild-card thriller

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
Local report: Rodriguez volleyball team downs Armijo

By Daily Republic staff | From Page: B1

Pirates’ Volquez looks to continue revival against Giants

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
Raiders make Tony Sparano interim coach after firing Allen

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

 
NFL says Abdullah should not have been penalized

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

NFL has laundry list of verboten celebrations

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Government: NFL TV ‘blackout’ rule unsportsmanlike

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Olympian Michael Phelps apologizes for DUI arrest

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Gravely injured Giants fan sues Dodgers again

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2, 1 Comment

Ex 49ers RB James agrees to terms with Dolphins

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
FCC will consider petition to ban ‘Redskins’

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Training camp essential for NBA’s new head coaches like Warriors’ Kerr

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2 | Gallery

No. 14 Stanford trying to jolt stagnant offense

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
NC State coach apologizes for fake injury remarks

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

49ers’ Wilhoite filling the injury void at linebacker

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8 | Gallery

 
.

Business

EU says Apple gets illegal tax benefits in Ireland

By The Associated Press | From Page: A9

 
Could a merger follow the PayPal-eBay split?

By The Associated Press | From Page: A9

.

Obituaries

David Earl Butenhoff-Forristall

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4, 1 Comment

 
Marte Abad Lubag

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

Clara May Clift Triplett

By Daily Republic staff | From Page: A4, 3 Comments

 
.

Comics

Baby Blues

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
For Better or Worse

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Baldo

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Zits

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Wizard of Id

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Dilbert

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Beetle Bailey

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Rose is Rose

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Frank and Ernest

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Sally Forth

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Peanuts

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Blondie

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

B.C.

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Pickles

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Garfield

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Get Fuzzy

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Crossword

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

 
Cryptoquote

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

Sudoku

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

 
Bridge

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

.

Breast Cancer Awareness 2014

Breast cancer in younger women

By Green Shoot Media | From Page: BCA2

Talking with your doctor

By Green Shoot Media | From Page: BCA3

Breast cancer myths

By Green Shoot Media | From Page: BCA4

Diet linked to cancer

By Green Shoot Media | From Page: BCA9

Giving emotional support

By Green Shoot Media | From Page: BCA10

After the treatment

By Green Shoot Media | From Page: BCA12

Join the fight: Get involved

By Green Shoot Media | From Page: BCA15