Officers shot and killed an escapee from the county Honor Farm early Monday morning after he led them on a wild chase through Stockton and Lodi that ended in Acampo.
Officers shot the man around 12:45 a.m. Monday after he attempted to back up into a California Highway Patrol officer and hit the patrol car at the corner of Woodbridge Road near the Highway 99 Frontage Road, CHP officer Angel Arceo said. A female passenger was also injured.
Arceo could not say how many officers fired at the man, but said they were from the Stockton Police Department and CHP.
Police were still investigating the shooting Monday, blocking off Woodbridge Road. Arceo estimated that the road will be open again around 1 p.m. today.
The man who was shot and killed escaped from the San Joaquin County Honor Farm on Aug. 9, Arceo said. Officers could not yet release the name.
The chase, which lasted for 36 minutes, started when Stockton officers attempted to pull over a car after it sped through a stop sign, Arceo said. The driver refused to pull over, and the officers ran the plates on the Honda Civic and learned it was stolen.
The officers asked CHP for assistance when the driver was near March Lane and Interstate 5. The man drove onto the freeway in the wrong direction twice, going northbound in southbound lanes, Arceo said.
Officers briefly called off the search because of safety concerns, he said. They started pursuing the suspect again when the man started driving eastbound on Eight Mile Road.
He got on Highway 99, and officers followed him through Lodi. He went going northbound on Cherokee Lane and kept getting on and off Highway 99 multiple times, including at Lodi Avenue and Victor Road.
He then took the Highway 99 Woodbridge Road exit and started heading southbound on the Frontage Road. Two Stockton police, one sheriff’s and five CHP cars were waiting at the intersection.
He started to make a right-hand turn onto the overpass when a CHP officer executed a PIT maneuver, in which officers nudge the suspect’s right fender to make them lose control, Arceo said.
The man’s car went into a ditch. Police from the multiple agencies drew their weapons, yelling for him to get out of the car, Arceo said. The suspect then drove in reverse, striking the CHP car and barely missing the officer, he said.
“It was a pretty close call. In order for officers to fire, it’s a direct threat,” Arceo said.
Arceo said it is unclear how many shots were fired at the car, which came to a rest near a sign for the Arbor Mobile Home Park.
The man died immediately from gunshot wounds. A woman in the car, who police said knew the suspect, was also struck in the torso, Arceo said. A CHP helicopter transported the woman to UC Davis Medical Center for treatment, and she told officers on scene that she was pregnant, Arceo said. She is in critical but stable condition.
The chase varied in speed, with the car reaching 60 to 65 miles per hour on non-highway streets, Arceo said. The suspect’s erratic driving prevented officers from using spike strips or other techniques to stop vehicles.
“It was not really a high-speed chase, but it was more of the wildness of the driver going the wrong way on the highway,” he said.
Because officers were involved in the shooting, multiple agencies are working on the investigation, including the Department of Justice and San Joaquin County’s District Attorney. Stockton police, CHP and the sheriff’s department are also participating and conducting their own investigations, Arceo said.
Contact reporter Maggie Creamer at firstname.lastname@example.org. For more news about the city of Lodi, read Maggie’s blog, City Buzz.