Burglary suspect opens fire on Lodi police
LODI — A man suspected of burglary was listed in stable condition Tuesday morning following a gunfight with a Lodi Police Department officer.
Lodi police Lt. Mike Manetti said the officer responded to the report of shots fired in the 900 block of Industrial Way just before 5 a.m.
Manetti said that upon arrival, the officer confronted a 37-yearold man, and multiple shots were immediately exchanged.
The officer was not harmed during the exchange, Manetti said, but his patrol car was struck multiple times. The suspect was taken to an area hospital for treatment of his injuries, and will be arrested once he is medically cleared, Manetti said.
“The suspect was armed with an assault-style rifle and semi-automatic handgun,” Manetti said at the scene. “We don’t know at this point if both were used. Our officer fired and struck the suspect multiple times.”
Manetti said once the suspect is medically cleared, he will most likely be arrested on suspicion of attempted murder of a police officer.
Because the incident is an officer-involved shooting, a countywide protocol investigation will be conducted in conjunction with the San Joaquin County District Attorney and the California Department of Justice, Manetti said.
“We don’t know exactly what he was breaking into,” Manetti said. “But we do believe he was in the process of committing a burglary.”
Jairo Rodriguez, an employee at the CarQuest Auto Parts store at the corner of Beckman Road and Industrial Way, said the business was not open at the time of the shooting, but heard the suspect was trying to break into a vehicle at a nearby business.
“We don’t know much about it,” he said. “But we heard this guy was trying to break into a company vehicle over there, the owner caught him and called police. That’s when the officer showed up and the gunshots started.”
Manager Gerardo Mora said the amount of burglaries reported in that part of town has become a problem in recent years.
“We’ve had to put bars up on the windows because someone kept breaking in here,” he said. “I’ve had to come out here every Sunday morning to clean up and take care of things because of the burglaries. I’ve asked the landlord to secure the back of the building because they keep breaking in there too.”
Rodriguez said the number of recreational vehicles that park on the roads in the area doesn’t help things.
“We have a regular customer that comes in here frequently buying a new car battery,” he said. “They keep stealing it from his car around here.”
Tuesday’s shooting was the first to involve officers in two years.
In Oct. 23, 2017, 35-yearold Matthew Palaita was shot and killed during a traffic stop near Pleasant Avenue and Turner Road.
Palaita was a passenger in the rear of a vehicle, and fired upon officers Daniel Bristow and Dominic Carillo as he exited the vehicle at about 8:20 a.m.
Earlier this year, Bristow and Carillo were found justified in the shooting by the San Joaquin County District Attorney’s Office.
A suspected burglar was shot during a gunfight with a Lodi Police Department officer on Tuesday morning in the 900 block of Industrial Way.