On Saturday, July 16, 2022, at 11:43 p.m., Sheriff’s dispatch received a call for service regarding a suspicious vehicle in the 5700 block of Sycamore Court. Deputy Marcus Mason responded to the call for service and contacted the driver of the suspicious vehicle. During the contact, the driver produced a handgun and fired at Deputy Mason, striking him multiple times. Deputy Mason returned fire and the suspect fled on foot. Deputy Mason was able to radio that he had been shot and provided a detailed description of the suspect to responding deputies. The first responding deputies immediately rendered first aid to Deputy Mason, and he was transported to a nearby trauma center. Additional deputies responded and located the suspect approximately one mile from the scene of the shooting.
The suspect was not injured during the incident and was booked into the West Valley Detention Center. On July 19th, the San Bernardino County District Attorney filed the following charges against the defendant: Attempted Murder of a Peace Officer, Possession of a Firearm by a Felon, Having a Concealed and Unregistered Firearm on One’s Person, Carrying a Loaded and Unregistered Handgun on One’s Person, and several special allegations charges. The defendant remains in custody with no bail set.
Deputy Mason is a five-year veteran of the Sheriff’s Department, currently assigned to the Rancho Cucamonga Police Department. He is recovering at the hospital and is in stable condition.
This incident highlights the importance of our long-standing mantra, “See Something, Say Something.” These residents did what they were supposed to do, they saw something that was out of the norm for their neighborhood and called to report it. We continue to encourage residents to call and report suspicious activity.
The suspect was identified as Nicholas Campbell, a felon, who is currently on active parole out of Northern California for a previous conviction of carjacking. He is not from this area, and as part of the investigation, we want to determine why he was in Rancho Cucamonga. We recognize that many residents are concerned when violent crimes occur, especially when the suspect has previously been convicted of a violent crime. Changes in State laws that reduce offender accountability allow convicted violent offenders to be released and continue to terrorize communities throughout California. This is a change that needs to happen at the State level, and community members should write our State elected officials to share their concerns.
Since the early 2000s, the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department and Rancho Cucamonga Fire District meet annually to conduct an active shooter training scenario with the mission to rescue victims, render medical aid, and save lives. It provides an opportunity for first responders to learn a rescue taskforce model where teams of fire and law enforcement personnel enter an active, hostile environment together. Under the protection of law enforcement, fire personnel can provide immediate patient care. This multi-agency training was just conducted in June. The methods taught enable fire personnel to treat victims closest to the time they were injured, saving valuable time. Patients are then immediately moved to a more secure area where they can then be transported to a medical facility for appropriate treatment.
When faced with an active shooter, our first responders have seconds to learn about their environment, make critical decisions, and take appropriate action. The skills our first responders are taught were evident in the incident that unfolded early Sunday morning. Due to quick action, the deputies who first arrived on scene provided immediate trauma care until fire personnel arrived. Because of the task force rescue model, a firefighter paramedic was able to enter the active scene and provide immediate patient care to the injured deputy.
Simultaneously, Ontario Police Department’s patrol airship heard the call of a deputy down on the radio. Without hesitation, the Ontario helicopter crew landed at Chaffey College in preparation for air-medic transport. Deputies placed Deputy Mason into a patrol vehicle and transported him to the airship while the firefighter paramedic continued patient care. Deputy Mason was transferred into the airship where the firefighter paramedic provided in-flight care while the helicopter crew quickly transported them to Pomona Valley Medical Center where he could receive immediate trauma-level medical attention.
The initial moments of a violent assault can be critical to the preservation of life, but due to the quick action and collaborative effort of our first responders, valuable time was saved, Deputy Mason received the immediate medical attention needed and is now in stable condition, recovering.
Training for incidents like this does not need to stop with first responders. The Rancho Cucamonga Police Department and Fire District encourage businesses, faith-based organizations, schools, and other groups to contact us to request a “How to Survive an Active Shooter” training. This training is specially designed to teach civilians actions to keep them safe and skills to render aid to those who are injured.
I would also like to take this opportunity to remind members of the community to engage with law enforcement, share their concerns, learn, and ask questions. Opportunities to connect with our Police Department are available throughout the year with annual events like our Open House and National Night Out, as well as outreach events like Coffee with a Cop and the monthly Citizen’s Advisory Committee meetings. Additionally, if residents are interested in forming a neighborhood watch, one of our long-standing crime prevention programs, our Crime Prevention team would be happy to assist them with that. Our nation is built on the strength of our citizens. Every day, we encounter situations calling upon everyone to be the eyes and ears of law enforcement. Not only does neighborhood watch allow citizens to help in the fight against crime, but it is also an opportunity for communities to bond through service. The Neighborhood Watch Program draws upon the compassion of average citizens, asking them to lend their neighbors a hand.
And with that, I would like to thank the community for their overwhelming show of support, well wishes, and prayers for Deputy Mason and the entire Rancho Cucamonga Police Department. I would also like to extend my deepest appreciation to Rancho Cucamonga Fire District, Ontario Police Department, and our local law enforcement agencies who responded to the scene to render aid to Deputy Mason and support our deputies with the apprehension of the suspect. Your collective actions saved Deputy Mason’s life and ensured the safety of the citizens of Rancho Cucamonga.
A message from Deputy Mason:
Deputy Mason expresses his sincere appreciation to all the law enforcement and fire personnel who responded to assist him by providing medical aid and successfully apprehending the suspect responsible for assaulting him. He and his family are especially grateful for the personnel from the Rancho Cucamonga Police and Fire Departments and the helicopter crew from the Ontario Police Department for their lifesaving effort and heroic actions.