Crime - Sacto 911

Off-duty firefighter helps police officer subdue shooting suspect in East Sacramento

A suspect who wrested a gun from a Sacramento police officer and fired the weapon was taken into custody Thursday afternoon with the aid of an off-duty firefighter.

The man was being taken to Mercy General Hospital for a mental health evaluation when he ran away from the officer about 12:11 p.m., said Sgt. Vance Chandler, a Sacramento Police Department spokesman. The officer caught up with the suspect and a struggle ensued. The man was able to gain control of the officer's weapon and fired it.

A passerby, an off-duty firefighter, saw the struggle and helped subdue the suspect near 39th and H streets, Chandler said. The suspect, described by police as a Hispanic adult, was not injured and was taken into custody.

"We're very fortunate that the passerby came and helped out the officer. We are very fortunate that the officer suffered only minor injuries," Chandler said.

A school employee on yard duty at nearby Sacred Heart Parish School heard the gunshots about 12:17 p.m. and alerted school administrators to put the school on lockdown, said Kevin Eckery, spokesman for the Diocese of Sacramento.

There were no students in the courtyard at the time, but first- through third-graders were in the cafeteria for lunch, fourth-graders were heading to lunch and fifth-graders were in the gym, Eckery said.

The fourth-graders were moved into the cafeteria and the gym time extended for fifth-graders. The rest of the students in the K-8 school were in their classrooms. It took the school three minutes to go from alert to full lockdown, Eckery said. The school was locked down for 24 minutes, until police alerted school officials that everything was safe.

Police initially were called to 63rd Street and Elvas Avenue about 10:47 a.m. for a disturbance involving a man with a knife, Chandler said. Police detained the man, recovered the knife and took him to the hospital.

The suspect was not injured during the incident but was transported to the hospital as a precaution, according to a Police Department news release. Once released from the hospital, he will be booked on suspicion of attempted homicide on a peace officer.

The officer suffered minor injuries, according to police.

Due to the severity of the incident, a homicide team is taking over the investigation, Chandler said. Investigators are processing the scene and contacting witnesses.

Anyone with information about the incident is asked to call the Police Department's non-emergency line at 916-264-5471.

Editor's note: A previous version of an accompanying video for this story misstated in the headline that the shooting was fatal.