Suspect in Paso Robles shootout was hit by 7 bullets, doctor says

ppemberton@thetribunenews.comJanuary 16, 2014 

Clifford Scott takes notes in court Thursday, Jan. 9, during his trial on attempted murder charges.

DAVID MIDDLECAMP — dmiddlecamp@thetribunenews.com Buy Photo

A San Diego man who allegedly waged a gun battle with a CHP officer in Paso Robles was hit by up to seven bullets — one of which remains in his liver — a surgeon testified Thursday.

Meanwhile, an attorney for the defendant, Clifford Scott, 23, suggested to jurors that there would be a self-defense element to his closing argument next week.

“We know that in the alleyway, there was confusion,” Linden Mackaoui told them, noting that they would have to consider Scott’s mindset when he and Adrian Ayala got into a gunfight on Oct. 27, 2012. “It’s not so much what the officer was perceiving; it was what Mr. Scott was perceiving.”

Mackaoui will offer a more precise picture of the defense during his closing argument Tuesday. But in his opening — which he opted to give after the prosecution rested its case — he said jurors will have to decide “at what point can a person engage in a battle — a fight — with a law enforcement officer.”

The District Attorney’s Office alleges that Scott, who was traveling through the area with two women, sped off after a routine, early-morning traffic stop. After crashing into a tree, Scott — a parolee with cocaine on him — fled on foot, followed by Ayala. When Ayala tracked him to a dumpster, Scott came up shooting.

Through questioning, Mackaoui suggested that there is a different version of the story — and that Scott might have been shot while on the ground.

Ayala suffered bullet wounds to an arm and a hand. He was also struck in his torso, but he was protected by a bulletproof vest. Scott suffered a hit from Ayala’s Taser and several gunshot wounds.

Scott’s most severe injury was a bullet to the liver, testified Stephen Tidik, a general surgeon who helped save Scott’s life at Sierra Vista Regional Medical Center.

“We did not go after the bullet,” he said, noting that might cause more damage. “So we left it in place to control bleeding.”

Scott also suffered bullet wounds to his buttocks, both legs and a toe, Tidik said.

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