California Highway Patrol officers Saturday shot and critically wounded a suspected truck thief who had led authorities on a chase from Stockton to Sacramento on Interstate 5.
Officers fired multiple rounds during the 1 p.m. incident on Bercut Drive, just south of Richards Boulevard. No officers were injured, authorities said.
The name of the suspect, a Latino male in his 30s, was not made public. He was struck multiple times, said Sgt. Doug Morse, a spokesman for the Sacramento Police Department, which is handling the shooting investigation.
According to CHP Officer Michael Bradley, Stockton police alerted officers at 12:15 p.m. to be on the lookout for a stolen white Ford Super Duty truck. The truck was taken from a construction site where workers tried to stop the theft, Bradley said.
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A Stockton CHP officer soon spotted the truck and tried to pull it over, but the driver fled onto northbound I-5. South Sacramento CHP units took over the pursuit at I-5 and Twin Rivers Road, Bradley said.
Speeds hovered around 70 mph during the chase, with officers twice laying out spike strips to try to disable the vehicle. The second attempt, near the Seamas Avenue offramp, blew out the truck’s driver-side tires but didn’t stop it as it continued north on I-5, with equipment dangling from the rear, Bradley said.
The driver took the Richards Boulevard offramp, where the CHP unsuccessfully tried to force the heavy vehicle, loaded with gear, to stop.
The truck’s driver then turned right onto Bercut, which quickly dead-ends. The driver did a U-turn, facing CHP vehicles. But then he started driving toward officers, who opened fire, law enforcement officials said.
“These officers absolutely feared for their safety,” said Morse, who added that the suspect had taken “extreme” measures to avoid capture, including driving on metal rims after the truck’s tires peeled off.
The truck had the logo of W.C. Maloney Inc., a Stockton wrecking and site-clearing contractor. A company representative could not be reached for comment Saturday.
Several police vehicles and dozens of uniformed and plainclothes officers remained at the scene in the late afternoon, interviewing witnesses and inspecting the truck, which had at least four bullet holes in its windshield.
Hoses, shredded tires and other debris, apparently from the truck, were strewn along the freeway and exit ramp.
Call Jim Miller, Bee Capitol Bureau, (916) 326-5521. Follow him on Twitter @jimmiller2.