On November 8, 2016, the Azusa Police Department was called out to Memorial Park for reports of a man with body armor at the polling place. The department already had a unit in place in case there were problems at the polls, so they deployed it to this location.
When the officers arrived, instead of people calmly voting, they found danger and chaos. There was a shooter across the street in a home. One man was unconscious on the sidewalk, and two cars had crashed.
One of the women involved in the crash was injured, and an older woman was dead. Since it was after 2 pm, the nearby middle and pre-schools were about to let the children out to go home.
According to data collected from those at the scene, it seemed like the shooter was specifically targeting the polls. However, no one knew if he was on his own or if there were others with him.
Officer Plascencia attempted to help one of the injured women out of her vehicle and out of the line of fire. The woman had been shot in the head and was very disoriented.
She struggled against Officer Plascencia as he tried to get her to safety. Another officer, Sergeant Torres, covered Plascencia so he could get her away from the gunfire.
Sergeants Smith and Chapman, and Corporal Rodrigues all got to the scene along with other officers. They fired back at the gunman, alleviating some of the fire on the other officers.
Corporal Avila, Corporal Wenrick, and Detective Campos all moved to draw the shooter out of his home. The gunman got into a shootout and died. One of the victims died in the ambulance, while several others were badly injured.
All of the men received the Medal of Valor for risking their lives to save their fellow officers and the civilians who were out there that day, just trying to vote.