SoCal Officer to Get Medal of Valor for Saving His Partner's Life

A San Bernardino police officer is receiving the medal of valor, the highest award given by Governor Jerry Brown's office.

The day he saved fellow officer Gabe Garcia during a gunbattle last year.

Officer Marcus Pesquera had only been on the job about a month and a half when he got into a gunfight and had to react quickly to save his partner's life.

"I heard two gunshots ... and I ordered them to the ground," Pesquera said. "And that's when the suspect came out shooting at me."

It happened in the early-morning hours of Aug. 22, 2014.

Pesquera and his training officer partner, Garcia, had just come across a group of suspicious men on Garner Avenue.

At least one of the men opened fire on the officers. Both of them tried to find cover. As Garcia fired with his laser-sighted gun, Pesquera had the instinct to also fire at the red dot, following his training officer's lead.

During the two-minute gunbattle, a bullet struck Garcia, gravely injuring him. But Pesquera continued to battle.

The shooter finally stopped firing and succumbed to his injuries, while Garcia fought for his life, thanks to Pesquera's heroic actions.

Now Garcia is alive and the governor is acknowledging the heroism by giving Pesquera the state's highest honor, the Medal of Valor.

"I'm just shocked because I didn't expect anything like that," Pesquera said. "Other people probably deserved it because I was just doing my job."

Pesquera is married and has a young daughter. He graduated from Rim of the World High School.

He wanted to become a police officer because he wanted to help people in his community. The governor will present him with the medal of valor on Sept. 14.

Garcia continues to recover from his wound. He told the San Bernardino County Sun that he is thrilled for his partner.

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