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California parolee pleads guilty to shooting Nevada deputy

February 26, 2021 GMT

GARDNERVILLE, Nev. (AP) — A 22-year-old man who had been paroled after serving a partial sentence for assaulting a police officer in California has pleaded guilty to attempted murder in the shooting of a rural Nevada sheriff’s deputy in December.

Nicholas Berreman of Markleeville, California, also pleaded guilty this week in Douglas County District Court to being a prohibited person in possession of a gun and battery with a deadly weapon causing substantial bodily harm.

Authorities say Berreman shot Douglas County Sheriff’s Sgt. John Lenz multiple times on Dec. 20 during a traffic stop in Gardnerville about 15 miles (24 kilometers) south of Carson City.

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Lenz was hit in the cheek. He also was shot twice in the chest but body armor deflected those bullets and may have saved his life, the sheriff’s office said.

Gilbert Lenz said his brother underwent surgery and returned home at the end of December. He’s also a member of the Reno Philharmonic Orchestra and is expected to return to the group for the first time since the shooting during a virtual performance this weekend.

“It’s weird to say someone is lucky in getting shot, but it’s almost a Christmas miracle for what happened for him to be in the shape he is right now,” Gilbert Lenz told KTVN-TV.

Douglas County District Court Judge Thomas Gregory accepted Berreman’s plea on Monday and set sentencing for April 12.

Berreman had been sought on a fugitive warrant on a parole violation from California, the sheriff’s office said. He had been released from prison early after he was sentenced to four years in 2019 for his conviction on a charge of assaulting a police officer with a firearm in Alpine County, California.