FRESNO, California-  FSO Sergeant Rod Lucas was reportedly the victim of an accidental shooting. He has died. The incident occurred at the sheriff’s office.

Around 3:40 pm on Monday, October 31st, an accidental shooting incident occurred inside a Sheriff’s Office building near the Fresno Airport.

Occupying the building at the time were about a dozen Fresno County Sheriff’s Office employees.  There are several rooms in the building and the employees were in various locations throughout the building.  There were four people in the office where the incident occurred, including our deceased Deputy Sergeant Rod Lucas.  Sgt. Lucas and one of the detectives were discussing their equipment, specifically their backup weapons and how they carried them.  The detective had his weapon out and during this discussion the detective’s weapon discharged one round.  The bullet struck Sgt. Lucas in his chest and he dropped to the ground.  CPR was immediately administered by those in the office, then continued by ambulance personnel and eventually staff members at Community Regional Medical Center.  However, Sgt. Lucas succumbed to his injury and was pronounced deceased, the department said in a release.

All witnesses have been interviewed, with the exception of the involved detective, whose interview will take place soon.  We do not yet know the mechanics of how the weapon was discharged and do not want to speculate until all interviews and the investigation is complete.  The witnesses in the room were all in different positions in the area doing a variety of tasks., the agency stated. “They saw and / or heard what happened from their own positional perspective.  So far, we have absolutely no reason to believe this was nothing more than a tragic accidental shooting.”

The name of the detective involved will not be released at this time they say.  He is a 9-year veteran of the Sheriff’s Office.  Specifics about the firearm that was accidentally discharged are not available at this time.  The agency stated s that the gun was an approved secondary weapon for the detective.

Sgt. Rod Lucas was 46 years old and a 20 year veteran of the Fresno County Sheriff’s Office.  He began his career here in September of 1996.  He was promoted to the rank of sergeant in 2008.  He worked in patrol, with our Chaplaincy Program and served many years of his career as a narcotics detective.  Sgt. Lucas grew up in Tranquility.  He was married with four children (28, 24, 18, and 12) and one grandchild (8).  Rod’s family is one of faith and they are receiving support from their church.  In a conversation with Sheriff Mims, Rod’s wife had one request of the Sheriff’s Office and the public, and that is to “Please pray for us.”



The Fresno Bee reported a procession of law enforcement vehicles, with their emergency lights on, accompanied a white hearse from the hospital shortly after 8:30 p.m. The procession headed south on Highway 99 before pulling off at American Avenue to the Fresno County Coroner’s Office.

Detectives are investigating the incident to determine how the gun accidentally discharged.

The deputy is the first to die while on duty since Deputy Joel Wahlenmaier was killed during a shootout in Minkler in 2010.

Saturday night, an off-duty Lincoln County NC deputy shot and critically wounded her daughter while reportedly showing off her service weapon to friends.


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