Police tonight identified Albert Mike Leday Jr. as the burglary suspect who was fatally shot by a Sonoma County sheriff’s deputy following a high-speed chase that ended in Santa Rosa Tuesday afternoon. Leday, 49, was on state parole and had numerous prior felony convictions, including residential robbery, battery on a peace officer, threats with intent to terrorize, and assault with a deadly weapon that was not a firearm, Santa Rosa police said. Preliminary results of an autopsy conducted today on Leday
indicated his death was caused by a gunshot wound to the chest, causing heart and liver failure, according to police. Leday was shot by a sheriff’s deputy at about 5 p.m. Tuesday at the intersection of West Steele Lane and Guerneville Road, in front of the
Sonoma County Public Library. The incident began at about 4:50 p.m., when deputies responded to reports of a burglary at the La Mancha Apartments on Old Redwood Highway in Larkfield. A woman there had called the sheriff’s office after her ex-boyfriend, whom she suspected of stealing jewelry, reportedly confronted her, sheriff’s Lt. Chris Spallino said Tuesday. The woman told a dispatcher with the sheriff’s office that the suspect was armed with a knife and had assaulted her a few days prior. When the first deputy arrived at the scene, the suspect, identified as Leday, took off past him, driving south on Old Redwood Highway. He drove at speeds over 90 mph while recklessly passing on the left and right of other vehicles, Spallino said. However, the Leday crashed into a light pole just outside the Coddingtown Mall and in front of the Sonoma County Public Library. Santa Rosa police said Leday exited his vehicle, confronted deputies at the scene and refused to comply with orders. When he allegedly reached behind his back into his waistband, the nearest deputy fired at him three times. Deputies on the scene took measures to try to save Leday’s life before emergency medical personnel arrived and took over. Leday was pronounced dead at Sutter Hospital. The deputy told investigators that he fired his weapon because he thought Leday was reaching for a weapon of his own, and he feared for his safety and the safety of those in the area. Several other witnesses in the area reported seeing Leday reach into his waistband, police said. The Santa Rosa Police Department and the Sonoma County District Attorney’s Office are continuing to investigate the case. Police said investigators did not finish processing evidence at the shooting scene until 2 p.m.
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