Crime - Sacto 911

Rancho Cordova bystander who officers shot likely held cellphone, not weapon

Ben Ledford
Ben Ledford Sacramento County Sheriff’s Department

Danny Sanchez peeked out of his garage, watching as authorities arrested his next-door neighbor.

Sanchez was holding something in his hand. When officers spotted him with it, at least one officer fired a weapon, striking Sanchez in a leg, Sacramento County Sheriff’s Department spokesman Sgt. Jason Ramos said Saturday.

Authorities believed the object was a gun, said Ramos, and perceived Sanchez was a threat at the time of the Thursday incident in Rancho Cordova. Sanchez’s father, John Sanchez, said in media reports that his son was holding a cellphone and was likely trying to record the events, sparked when authorities received calls of gunshots fired on their Negrara Way street.

Standing outside his home Saturday with his lawyer, the elder Sanchez declined comment.

After a standoff, Ben Ledford , 62, was taken into custody. He is suspected of firing gunshots at a house across the street from his home in the 2400 block of Negrara Way.

Ledford was being held with bail set at $1 million with charges of assault with a machine gun, discharging a firearm in a grossly negligent manner and cruelty to animals. Officers found a deceased dog inside a residence across the street, which Ramos said appears to have been the suspect’s primary target.

Sanchez underwent surgery to remove bullet fragments from his leg, reports added. His father did say Sanchez remained hospitalized Saturday.

Mariam Baksh: 916-321-1673, @MariamBaksh