California Gun Battle Ended With Dead Baby

PHOTO: An El Cajon police officer was filmed as he was shot in the neck during a gun battle on Aug. 21, 2011.
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Police in Southern California found the body of a baby girl near the scene where a police officer was filmed while being shot in the neck during a gun battle Sunday, officials said today.

Officer Jarder Slocum of the El Cajon Police Department, who is in stable condition, was shown stumbling and bleeding on camera after being hit with a bullet during a firefight between cops and a man hiding out in a house in a residential neighborhood.

Police responded to a call of suspicious activity in a residential neighborhood northeast of San Diego, where they were told an adult male had entered a home with a gun and proceeded to set the house on fire. As police arrived, the suspect, 32-year-old Kevin Collier, opened fire from inside the burning home.

Police found him dead in the home after the gunfight, and found the body of a 1-year-old girl in the suspected gunman's nearby truck, according to the Associated Press. Police believe the girl might be Collier's daughter, the report said.

El Cajon police Sgt. Mark Coit told the AP that Collier texted family members to say he'd killed his daughter and his mother-in-law, who remains missing.

In a video at the outbreak of the violence, which was recorded by a freelance photographer, gunfire is heard before Officer Slocum is seen pressing his hand against his neck and stumbling to get to safety before collapsing on the ground, where another officer and citizens then pull him to safety. He was later taken to a hospital, where he underwent surgery and is listed in critical but stable condition, according to a statement released by the department.

The residence where the man was hiding became fully engulfed in fire, and police evacuated the neighborhood before entering the home, where the body of the suspect was found dead by the front entrance, according to the statement.

El Cajon police were not immediately available for comment, although a staff member said the investigation is ongoing.

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