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Deputy U.S. Marshal Stephen Mroczka

Federal Bureau of Investigation

On November 5, 2013, the United States Marshals Service, Pacific Southwest Regional Fugitive Task Force, arrived at a residence in Fresno, California, to apprehend a fugitive who was wanted in connection with the kidnapping, rape, and torture of his ex-girlfriend. He was a violent fugitive with a lengthy criminal history who had been on the run for 16 months. He had kidnapped his ex-girlfriend and taken her to a location where she was chained to a wall and repeatedly sexually assaulted and tortured. Interviews conducted over several months suggested that the subject was armed and dangerous and would not surrender to law enforcement.
The Task Force received a tip that the fugitive was residing at his sister’s residence and was armed with a .40 caliber Glock pistol. When surveillance on the residence identified an individual whom they believed to be the fugitive, a perimeter was established and an operational plan to apprehend the fugitive was developed.
Upon knocking and making multiple announcements, a four-member entry team began clearing the residence. When the entry team opened the garage door, the fugitive ambushed them and fired three shots, one of which struck an entry team member in his ballistic vest. The entry team returned fire as the fugitive disappeared from sight, running toward the garage door.

Deputy U.S. Marshal Stephen Mroczka had positioned himself at the corner of the residence, close to the external garage door and another window that the fugitive could have used as an escape. He heard the gunfire and was in the process of moving to a position of better cover when the fugitive exited the residence in his direction. The fugitive immediately shot Deputy U.S. Marshal Mroczka in the chest. The round was later discovered lodged in Deputy U.S. Marshal Mroczka’s duty weapon that was secured to his chest.

Deputy U.S. Marshal Mroczka was still moving when he attempted to re-engage the fugitive who had come around a vehicle that Mroczka was using for cover. The fugitive began rapidly firing his weapon at Deputy U.S. Marshal Mroczka, striking him a second time in his lower abdomen. Despite being wounded, Deputy U.S. Marshal Mroczka did not back down from the attack and continued firing at close range.

Deputy U.S. Marshal Mroczka was ultimately able to shoot and incapacitate the fugitive.

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