FRESNO, Calif. (KGPE) – A correctional officer who was shot at the Fresno County Jail in 2016 has passed away from his injuries.
The Fresno County Sheriff’s Office announced 46-year-old Toamalama Scanlan died Tuesday at Kindred Hospital in Paramount, where he had been battling his injuries from that day.
It was September of 2016 when a man, high on meth, opened fire inside the lobby of Fresno County’s main jail, shooting two correctional officers, Juanita Davila and Toamalama Scanlan.
While Officer Davila made a full recovery, Scanlan’s injuries left him hospitalized for five years.
“Knowing that he lost his battle is very sad for many,” said retired correctional officer Eulalio Gomez.
Gomez was among many who had hoped and prayed Scanlan would recover.
He’ll remember him as a gentle giant with a love for life.
“He was 6 foot 4, basically a powerlifter, but he used his power in a gentle way,” explained Gomez.
Scanlan’s law enforcement career spanned nearly two decades.
He was a husband and father of five, a mentor, and a volunteer coach for Fresno Christian High School.
At the jail, Gomez says Scanlan had a special way of dealing with conflict among inmates.
“He would absolutely talk with them, sing with them, singing Samoan chants with them, unique way of dealing with hostile inmates,” said Gomez.
In 2018, the shooter, Thong Vang was found guilty of attempted murder and is currently serving a sentence of 112 years to life in prison.
“I want people to remember him as a hero, as a selfless man, a devoted father, and a loyal friend to many,” Gomez said.