Three Loomis men were arrested early Friday after a Placer County sheriff’s deputy reported seeing them fire guns from their vehicle.
The guns, an AR rifle and a 12-gauge shotgun, were reported stolen from a Loomis gun shop Monday, according to Sheriff’s Department news release.
The deputy was parked at the Sierra Presbyterian Church on Barton Road, near Sierra College Boulevard, at 2:44 a.m. when he saw a vehicle, driven by Aaron Lee Patrick, 24, pull over and park on the shoulder of the road. Moments later, the deputy heard several gunshots and saw muzzle flashes coming from the car, sheriff’s officials said. The deputy immediately pulled onto Barton Road and a pursuit ensued.
Sheriff’s officials said Patrick drove through intersections at high speed, ignoring stop signs, and traveled from Barton Road to Brace Road. As he approached Sierra College Boulevard, a tire blew out and the vehicle struck the median. Patrick ran from the vehicle but was stopped by the deputy about 100 yards away and was taken into custody without further incident.
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Additional deputies and Rocklin police officers arrived and found the other two suspects sitting in the car with their hands up, sheriff’s officials said. They were identified as Kyle James Lopez, 21, and Ronald Paynter, 23.
The motive for the shooting is under investigation, but sheriff’s officials said the men may have been shooting at road signs or at the ground.
Inside the car, deputies found two of three weapons that were reported stolen from National Gun on Taylor Road in Loomis early Monday. Detectives are investigating the men’s connection to the stolen weapons.
All three suspects were booked into Placer County jail on multiple felony charges, including willful discharge of a firearm, receiving stolen property and conspiracy. Bail was set at $110,000 for Lopez and $25,000 for Paynter.
Patrick, who is on post release community supervision, is being held on $125,000 bail. Sheriff’s officials said he is a state prison parolee classified under AB 109, or “realignment,” as a “non-violent, non-serious, non-sex-offender,” and is supervised by county probation and local law enforcement officers, rather than state parole officers.