Ontario police officer, a new father, shot in head in Las Vegas


An Ontario police officer who was shot in the head during Sunday night’s mass shooting in Las Vegas underwent surgery Monday and was in critical but stable condition, officials said.

Officer Michael Gracia, 24, and his fiancee were both wounded at the Route 91 Harvest country music festival, according to Ontario police Sgt. Jeff Higbee. The fiancee’s wounds were not life-threatening, Higbee said.

Ontario Police Department Officer Michael Gracia, 24, was shot in the head during the mass shooting in Las Vegas on Sunday, Oct. 1, 2017, and underwent surgery Monday, authorities said. (Photo courtesy of Ontario Police Department)
Ontario Police Department Officer Michael Gracia, 24, was shot in the head during the mass shooting in Las Vegas on Sunday, Oct. 1, 2017, and underwent surgery Monday, authorities said. (Photo courtesy of Ontario Police Department)

After Gracia was hurt, his fiancee, Summer, tried to cover him and was shot as well, according to Jesse Rivera, a friend of Gracia’s from Bonita High School in La Verne.

Rivera created a GoFundMe page to help pay for Gracia’s medical bills and other expenses. It had raised $19,745 by noon Monday.

While the surgery was successful, there will be a long road to recovery, Rivera wrote on the page.

“The love between those two are real and they are new parents and new parents shouldn’t be going through this,” he said.

Though Gracia was only 24, he had been with the Ontario Police Department “for many years,” Higbee said in a statement, “starting out as a cadet, then working as a jailer and eventually becoming a police officer. He has been an officer for four years.”

“Please keep Officer Gracia and his family and the families of all of the victims in your thoughts and prayers,” Higbee said.

Among those who donated to the GoFundMe account for Gracia was retired Ontario Officer Robb McCandlish — whose $500 contribution was a way to pay it forward.

McCandlish was injured while on duty in 2013, when his motorcycle was involved in a collision with a semi-truck in Ontario. More than 150 people came to a barbecue to raise funds for McCandlish, then a corporal, as he was intensive care.

McCandlish said he knew Gracia and respected him.

“He was one of our jailers prior to getting hired on full time,” he said Monday. “A really good kid. You hate to see this happen.”

McClandish said he wanted to help ease the worries for Gracia and his family.

“He’s got a lot of medical injuries to go through, and he doesn’t need his thoughts on finances,” McCandlish said. “I know what it means to go through that and to have people helping you.”

He said police officers stand together regardless of their personal…



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