On Monday, December 19, at 10 AM several choir boys met at Tucson Police Headquarters for the check presentation to the three Tucson police officers recently shot and wounded in the line of duty. We met Officers Robert Miranda, Jorge Tequida, Doug Wifert and their families in front of Tucson police headquarters. Q arranged for the presentation to be held in the department’s conference room. Several members of the Tucson Police command staff and other units attended including the deputy chief of patrol operations and the deputy chief of investigations.
Q began the presentation by explaining what the Choir Boy’s stands for and what we do. Geno Mendoza, Arizona Region Five President, presented the donations to each officer thanking each for their service.
Officer Robert Miranda was working a special detail called “Stone Garden.” This detail concentrates patrol in high gang and high drug areas. On Monday, October 24, at approximately 8 PM, he was patrolling in that capacity in the city’s south side when:
Officer Miranda saw a subject riding a motorized bicycle in a "hap-hazard" manner. Officer Miranda attempted to stop on the subject but the subject ditched the bike. A foot chase followed. During the foot chase, the subject turned and started shooting at Officer Miranda with a 9mm handgun. As a result, Officer Miranda was struck in the head above his right ear. As Officer Miranda was falling from the wound, he was able to return fire. The subject started to go toward Officer Miranda (who was on the ground). At the same time Officer Miranda's back-up arrived, observed and assessed the situation, and placed his patrol car between the subject and the officer ... protecting Officer Miranda. The back-up officer exited his car and returned fire, shooting the subject. The suspect was hit a total five times by both officers. Officer Miranda sustained a wound to the right side of his head. As we stood before him we could see the deep, three inch scar to the top right side of his head.
Officers Tequida and Wiefert work in a unit responsible for locating and arresting high profile and dangerous criminals. On Thursday, December 1, at approximately 7 AM, they were searching for Jose Gomez wanted for aggravated assault in the city’s south side. Gomez assaulted someone with a baseball bat earlier this year. Gomez also has a drug conviction from an arrest by the US Border Patrol. During their search:
Officers Jorge Tequida and Doug Wifert responded to an apartment complex in south Tucson. The officers met with Gomez’ father who agreed to help them arrest his son. Gomez was staying with his father in the father’s apartment. The father unlocked and opened his apartment door. The officers were walking down a hallway toward the bedrooms when Gomez opened fire on them. Gomez shot Officer Tequida and Officer Wifert. Both officers returned fire striking Gomez.
EMS responded to the scene and transported both Tequila and Wifert to Banner University Medical Center. Tequida arrived there badly wounded. One round hit Tequida in the shoulder, passed through his arm into his chest, through both lungs, and nicking an artery. The police chief reported a second round struck Tequida center mass to his body armor. EMS listed Wifert in serious condition with a gunshot wound to the leg. EMS pronounced Gomez dead at the scene.
Officer Tequida, Wifert and their families were very appreciative with our donations.
We left Tucson PD Headquarters and traveled to the Pima Sheriff’s Office Station. We met with Sergeant Mark Bustamante and his wife, and Pima Sheriff’s sergeant Dawn Barkman in the parking lot outside the station. Q began our presentation with an explanation of the Choir Boys. President Mendoza presented the check to Mark. As you recall, this incident began when:
Pima County Sheriff's Department traffic deputies were conducting a DUI investigation near East Drexel Road and South Alvernon Way. Deputies arrested 28-year-old Yesennia Gonzalez for DIU and placed her in handcuffs. As deputies were placing Gonzalez in a patrol car, she started kicking at those around her including Sergeant Bustamante striking him in his left eye with the heel of her boot.
Sgt. Bustamante was taken to the hospital where surgeons operated on his eye but were not able to save it. Deputies booked Gonzalez into the Pima County Adult Detention Complex with two counts of Aggravated Assault on a police officer, resisting arrest, and DUI.
Bustamante and his wife were very appreciative of our donation Mark was uncertain about his future with the Sheriff’s office.
I thank Tucson police officers Miranda, Tequida, and Wifert and Pima sheriff’s sergeant Bustamante for their service, honor, and courage to their community and to our country. I thank Jim “Q” Stone, Arizona Region Five member and an active Tucson police officer, for scheduling the donations with the three wounded Tucson police officers, their families, and the Tucson command staff. Q did an outstanding job and I want to recognize him for same. I also want to thank Mike “Guido” Batelli for scheduling our donation with Bustamante. Mike continues outstanding service to our club! I also want to thank the Choir Boys who attended both presentations including: Jim “Q” Stone, Mike “Guido” B., Geno M., Ron “Bull” B., Bill “Jaws” Y., Blaise R., Alex S., Randy “Gunner” Newman, Pete “Adam Henry” W., Jim “Flip Flop” A., and Kevin P.