Patrol cars screamed down Santiago Canyon Road. Rosales broke cover and ran toward them, waving his arms.
“Where’s he at?” Carrasco asks Rosales in a frenetic exchange caught on the deputy’s body-worn camera.
“It’s a male, blue shirt… he’s in that gray pickup with the door open,” Rosales responds.
“Gray pickup with the door open,” Carrasco repeats before speeding ahead.
Within seconds of Carrasco exiting his patrol car, he and other deputies came under fire and had to take cover.
What followed was a firefight lasting more than five minutes.
During the exchange of gunfire, it was challenging for deputies to keep eyes on Snowling, a retired Ventura Police Department sergeant, Carrasco said.
“His tactics were very similar to ours,” Carrasco said. “He wasn’t just standing in the open, he was moving from car to car. We could only see the top half of his body every now and then and it was just for a split second.”
On Thursday, Carrasco and Rosales met officially for the first time inside a conference room at the Orange County Sheriff’s Department office in Lake Forest. It was a moment Carrasco had been waiting for — a chance to thank Rosales for his actions that night.
At first, he struggled to find the words.
“We’re just grateful for you. If it wasn’t for you, things could have been completely different. And I wouldn’t be able to sit here and say that all the deputies made it out,” he said.
Rosales remained stoic but nodded as he listened.
Others fled, the deputy continued, but “you left cover to come tell me where he was. And I don’t know what drove you to do that, but I really appreciate you doing it.”
Sheriff’s Commander Kirsten Monteleone called Rosales a “guardian angel” for the deputies. Officials gave him a department challenge coin, a token of appreciation.
“I truly feel the information you gave saved some lives because had they gone in the bar they would have ran through the back,” Monteleone told Rosales. “They would have met a suspect with an advantage.”
Taylor Cox, Carrasco’s girlfriend of two years, smiled as she handed Rosales a gold envelope.
He carefully tore open the paper, his hands shaking slightly as he read the note on the card within. It was one of gratitude: for guiding deputies in the right direction. For ensuring Carrasco made it back home.
Rosales took a breath, emotion etched on his face.
He looked up, his voice only slightly more than a whisper.
“I’m just glad I was able to help.”