OAKHURST — The Madera County Sheriff’s Office deputy injured in Thursday’s shooting in Oakhurst has been identified as Neil Cuthbert, a veteran of the department who works as a detective out of the Oakhurst substation.
According to MCSO officials, Cuthbert has been released from the hospital and is “at home recovering after sustaining serious facial and head injuries.”
Investigators now believe the detective temporarily lost consciousness during the altercation with the 32-year-old suspect, who was shot during the incident.
That suspect has been identified as James Mcready of Mariposa. Mcready has “an extensive criminal history,” according to Undersheriff MCSO Undersheriff Tyson Pogue. “He has at least one arrest in each county for obstructing or delaying a peace officer.”
Mcready is currently listed in critical condition and has been charged with “assault with force likely to cause great bodily injury on a police officer,” the undersheriff said on Friday. “Other potential charges are pending.”
The shooting, which shut down a section of Highway 41 in downtown Oakhurst for nearly five hours, occurred just after 10 a.m. Thursday morning.
Cuthbert is a 24-year MCSO veteran and also a member of the Madera Sheriff’s Office Search and Rescue (SAR) Team, an emergency medical technician for Sierra Ambulance and the lead EMT instructor for other SAR medical personnel.
On Thursday morning, Detective Cuthbert was the first to respond to a call of a man “acting erratically.” Mcready reportedly was throwing objects onto the highway and walking in and out of traffic on Highway 41 near the intersection of Road 426.
According to witness accounts, when the detective arrived on scene and tried to talk to Mcready, the suspect physically attacked him.
“While being assaulted by Mr. Mcready, Detective Cuthbert fired a single round, striking Mcready in the abdomen,” Undersheriff Pogue said.
As is standard protocol, the Madera Police Department in conjunction with the California Highway Patrol is conducting the investigation into the shooting.
“We want to thank the community for all of their prayers and well wishes,” Undersheriff Pogue said.