A sheriff’s deputy shot at a wanted Santa Rosa man on Friday after he appeared to look for a weapon when stopped by authorities in unincorporated Sonoma County, just south of Santa Rosa. After 2:15 p.m. a Sonoma County Sheriff’s Deputy saw Gary Pickard Jr., 27, driving his pickup truck on Stony Point Road near Ludwig Avenue.
Pickard was wanted from a check fraud theft incident earlier last week, according to Lieutenant Dennis O’Leary. The deputy followed Pickard onto Todd Road, stopping him in front of a residence in the 500 block.
When Pickard exited the vehicle he moved his hand toward his waistband, as if reaching for a weapon, according to O’Leary. The deputy then fired his weapon, hitting Pickard twice.
Pickard was taken by ambulance to a local hospital where he underwent surgery and is expected to survive. A later search found a handgun in Pickard’s pickup truck. The deputy who fired the shots was place on paid administrative leave, as per procedure.
Pickard’s girlfriend, Dmitria Willamson, 22, was also in the pickup and was restrained and arrested with Pickard, O’Leary said. The shooting followed a call from a female victim on Tuesday in Santa Rosa who had reported that her housemate Williamson had stolen, forged and cashed several of her checks.
The victim also identified Pickard as a parolee with several drug related warrants for his arrest and that he had a handgun for which she claimed he said he was going to use to “kill cops,” O’Leary said. She also said he was under the influence of methamphetamines.
Sheriff’s deputies placed a stop and hold on Pickard as a felon in possession of a firearm and for outstanding arrest warrants for drug possession. A stop and hold was also placed on Williamson for the alleged forgery and thefts as police sent out a countywide bulletin to search for Pickard, O’Leary said.
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