COACHELLA, Calif. - Coachella sheriff's Deputy David Solis, who was shot earlier this year while chasing a fleeing suspect, has returned to work full- time, the sheriff's department said Thursday.
Solis was shot multiple times the night of May 25 while conducting a traffic stop near Harrison and First streets. The alleged gunman, Gildardo Davila Jr., 27, sped off and tossed a handgun from his vehicle, triggering a pursuit.
Davila later abandoned his car and fled on foot, with Solis chasing him into the open desert, according to the sheriff's department.
There, Davila allegedly shot Solis four to six times with a Smith & Wesson 9mm, later found in the field.
Solis was struck in the left hand, leaving some of his fingers "badly damaged,'' according to Riverside County Sheriff Stan Sniff. He was also was hit in the stomach, though that round struck his bullet-resistant vest.
Another round hit him in the chest just above the vest line.
The department said that "despite having severe injuries, Deputy Solis provided the identity and last known location of the suspect,'' information that was "crucial'' in securing Davila's arrest.
Davila was captured about a week later in Mexicali following an extensive manhunt. He faces at least 45 years to life in prison if convicted of charges of attempted murder on a peace officer, assault with a deadly weapon, evading arrest, possession of controlled substances and being a convicted felon in possession of a firearm.
In addition to recently returning to the field, Solis was recognized Wednesday with a proclamation from the city of Coachella during its regular city council meeting.
Davila remains held on $5 million bail, and is next due in court Nov. 6.
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