Officers shot the man around 12:45 a.m. Monday after he tried to back the car he was in 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 in the car was also injured.
The man who was shot and killed escaped from the San Joaquin County Honor Farm on Aug. 9, according to San Joaquin County Sheriff’s spokesman Les Garcia. The man, whose name or age has not been released, had walked away from a road work crew.
“He was a Level One inmate, that’s why he was out on a work crew,” Garcia said. “He was in for property crime and no violence was associated with his charges.”
Garcia said officials were not sure why the man walked away from authorities that day.
According to Garcia, the majority of honor farm inmates work outside the facility each day, including on road crews that pick up trash along the freeway, maintenance crews for the jail property and workers at area landfills.
Once inside the honor farm, inmates are allowed to roam the barracks and exercise areas freely, Garcia said, as opposed to inmates housed in the main jail, who are on lockdown overnight inside cells.
Arceo could not say how many officers fired at the man, but said they were from the Stockton Police Department and CHP.
The chase lasted for 36 minutes and started when Stockton officers tried to pull over a car after it sped through a stop sign, Arceo said. The driver refused to stop, however, and the officers ran the plates on the Honda Civic and learned it was reported as stolen.
The officers asked CHP for assistance when the driver was near March Lane and Interstate 5, according to Arceo. The man drove onto the interstate 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 east on Eight Mile Road.
He got on Highway 99 north, 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 south on the frontage road. Two Stockton police, one sheriff’s and five CHP cars were waiting at the intersection.
The escapee started to make a right-hand turn onto the overpass when a CHP officer nudged the suspect’s right fender with the cruiser to make them lose control, Arceo said.
When 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 rest near a sign for the Arbor Mobile Home Park.
The man died immediately from gunshot wounds, according to the CHP. 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 was in critical but stable condition Monday night.
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 personnel are also participating and conducting their own investigations, Arceo said.
• Press reporter Denise Ellen Rizzo contributed to this report.