SAN DIEGO -
A blood drive held in honor of San Diego County sheriff's Det. Ali Perez was so successful organizers were forced to begin turning people away an hour after it began.
The drive was held Monday morning in the Lowe's parking lot along Mission Gorge Road in Santee.
Perez was shot last month when he and sheriff's Sgt. Craig Johnson were investigating a suspected child molester in Lakeside.
Investigators said 30-year-old Daniel Witczak opened fire on the deputies and continued shooting for 15 minutes.
Both deputies were shot, but Johnson's injuries were not life threatening.
Perez has been in critical condition ever since the Sept. 25 shooting.
Many of the donors have never met Perez, but wanted to give back in some way. Perez's family told 10News the support has been overwhelming.
According to family members, Perez has been in surgery almost every day and the blood donations have helped save his life.
Medical officials said a person like Perez could need 50 gallons of blood by the time they reach the hospital -- which would mean donations from 400 people.
People are encouraged to donate at other locations.
On Oct. 9, a blood drive in Perez's name will be held at the Scripps Foundation at 4275 Campus Point Court.