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Vang found guilty of attempted murder in 2016 Fresno County Jail shooting

Thong Vang was charged in the shooting of two correctional officers

FRESNO, California - Thong Vang, the man charged with shooting two correctional officers in the Fresno County Jail lobby in 2016, was found guilty Thursday of attempted murder.

On Tuesday morning, both sides presented closing arguments. Prosecutor William Lacy argues that Vang is a sociopath who intentionally shot two unarmed officers. Correctional Officer Juanita Davila was shot in the jaw, and Correctional Officer Toamalama Scanlan was shot in the head. Both survived, but suffered major injuries.

About 15 people, including some children, were in the lobby to take care of business involving jail inmates when the shooting started the morning of Sept. 3, 2016.

As Scanlan and Davila approached Vang, who had been acting strangely, Vang produced a gun and opened fire -- critically wounding the two unarmed officers. 

A correctional lieutenant who entered the area exchanged shots with Vang, but neither were hit. Shortly thereafter Vang surrendered and was held at gunpoint while Scanlan and Davila were dragged to the front door to save time and bring them to waiting emergency medical personnel who were staged outside.

Scanlan has never recovered from the shooting.

But Vang's defense attorney, Richard Esquivel, said his client was high on meth at the time of the shooting, and wasn't in the right state of mind. Esquivel said Vang was actually defending himself from the officers who he thought were going to kill him.


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