Terry Rogaczewski, a marine animal rescuer who played an instrumental role in saving “J.J. the Gray Whale,” a stranded whale in Marina del Rey in 1997, was charged with attempted murder on Monday by Las Vegas prosecutors, according to the Las Vegas Sun.
On Nov. 3 at about 9:30 p.m., police received a call of a man that was shooting in an apartment complex parking lot. Rogaczewski allegedly pointed a gun at one car, a 2011 Nissan Altima, but the driver sped off. He then shot at a 2007 Cadillac. The driver reversed his car, slammed into a wall and fled on foot, uninjured, according to the Las Vegas Sun.
When police arrived at the scene, Rogaczewski reportedly pointed a gun at police and they shot him as he was attempting to enter the Cadillac from the passenger door.
He was taken to the Sunrise Hospital and Medical Center in Las Vegas in critical condition and was released Friday. Along with attempted murder, he has been charged with three counts of assault with a deadly weapon, three counts of discharging a firearm into a vehicle and two counts of resisting a police officer.
Rogaczewski spent much of his time in Southern California rescuing dolphins, seals and other marine animals. He worked at the Point Mugu Wildlife Center in the late 1990s and often helped lifeguards when animals where in danger.
In January 1997, Rogaczewski kept a vigil all night on a stranded beached whale in Marina del Rey and helped lifeguards save the mammal when it was spotted in the marina channel. He and other rescuers swam with the whale toward the beach, and once rescued, the whale was taken to SeaWorld.
J.J the Gray Whale was released on March 31, 1998, and no sightings have been reported since its release, according to SeaWorld.
Rogaczewski arraignment will be in December.