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Calexico officer shot during botched robbery

October 27, 2001

SOUTH GATE (AP) — An off-duty Calexico police officer exchanged gunfire with a would-be robber here early Saturday.

Both men were wounded but were expected to survive, police said.

Fabian Mejia, a three-year veteran of the Calexico Police Department, was using a corner pay phone shortly after midnight when a 19-year-old gunman demanded money from him, said Lt. Darren Sullivan of the South Gate Police Department.

After the men shot each other, the suspect got into a car and left as Mejia called 911.

Police arrested the suspected gunman and an 18-year-old woman with him after they arrived at a nearby hospital, Sullivan said. Their names were not immediately released.

Mejia was in stable condition at an area hospital while the suspected robber was in serious but stable condition, said Sullivan.

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After hearing the news, Calexico Police Chief Tommy Tunson drove to the Los Angeles area hospital to visit Mejia, said Sgt. Jesus Serrano of the Calexico Police Department.

Tunson was still in Los Angeles as of presstime Saturday night, according to Serrano.

Mejia was in South Gate, just southwest of Los Angeles, to visit his parents, Sullivan said.

Staff Writer Aaron Claverie contributed information to this story.

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