Stock­ton po­lice fired at dur­ing traf­fic stop

Lodi News-Sentinel - - Local/State - By Roger Phillips

STOCK­TON — Po­lice Chief Eric Jones praised three uniden­ti­fied mem­bers of his force for show­ing poise un­der pres­sure af­ter they re­frained from re­turn­ing fire af­ter be­ing shot at from a ve­hi­cle late Mon­day night dur­ing what ini­tially seemed to be a rou­tine traf­fic stop.

“I’m very proud of the of­fi­cers,” Jones said Tues­day morn­ing.

The first gun­shots missed two of­fi­cers but struck the pas­sen­ger-side door and wind­shield of their po­lice car and a stop sign out­side Dameron Hospi­tal at the in­ter­sec­tion where the shoot­ing in­ci­dent be­gan.

Min­utes af­ter the first gunfire, more shots were fired from the sus­pect ve­hi­cle, this time miss­ing a po­lice sergeant who had picked up the pur­suit head­ing south on Cen­ter Street.

Jones said at least two peo­ple were in the sus­pect ve­hi­cle and are be­ing sought for three homi­cide at­tempts. The weapon, be­lieved to be a hand­gun, was fired by some­one in the pas­sen­ger seat.

Po­lice are fol­low­ing sev­eral leads in the case, said Jones, who shared lit­tle in­for­ma­tion on the sus­pects or the ve­hi­cle they were in.

“Gun violence is our top pri­or­ity,” Jones said. “And then when we have gun violence on the very men and women that are sworn to pro­tect and serve this com­mu­nity, that re­ally puts an ex­tra em­pha­sis on the need to re­duce gun violence.”

Ac­cord­ing to po­lice, the in­ci­dent be­gan when two of­fi­cers turned on the blue and red over­head lights in their car and be­gan a pur­suit af­ter a ve­hi­cle ran a stop sign at Lin­coln and Aca­cia streets in cen­tral Stock­ton.

A pas­sen­ger in the ve­hi­cle “im­me­di­ately” be­gan fir­ing his weapon at po­lice, miss­ing the of­fi­cers, Jones said. The two of­fi­cers did not re­turn fire.

“We’re very, very for­tu­nate that no com­mu­nity mem­bers were in­jured be­cause those er­rant rounds could have gone any­where and could have struck any­one,” Jones said.

A sergeant nearby in an­other po­lice ve­hi­cle sub­se­quently picked up the pur­suit, but he, too, was fired upon by the sus­pects, by now head­ing south on Cen­ter Street. The sergeant also did not re­turn fire and the sus­pects sped off and were last seen head­ing south on In­ter­state 5.

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