A Santa Rosa man was arrested Saturday morning on suspicion of murder following a freeway pursuit and manhunt that ended with an attempted carjacking in Marin County. The chase began around 2:08 a.m. when police were called to Cumberland Street and Homestead Lane on a report of a disturbance. Santa Rosa resident Oscar Valencia, 23, was found lying dead in the street with a gunshot wound to his head, Santa Rosa police Sgt. Rainer Navarro said.
Officers noticed a white van driven by a suspect leaving the scene. By 2:16 a.m., California Highway Patrol officers had spotted a vehicle matching the description driving south on U.S. Highway 101 near Pepper Road, Navarro said. Attempts to pull the vehicle over failed and the pursuit continued from Petaluma south into Marin County, where officers used a spike strip to stop the van, he said. The driver, however, fled the van on foot and ran across the freeway into a field near St. Vincent Drive in San Rafael.
After a search using dogs and helicopters, a man matching the suspect’s description was seen around 6:30 a.m. running across the freeway and attempting to stop cars, Navarro said. The suspect was seen allegedly trying to force his way into a vehicle that had stopped to avoid hitting him, but police were able to take him into custody before he gained entry into any vehicles, he said. Latroy Clinton, Sr., 39, was arrested and booked into Sonoma County Jail on suspicion of murder, Navarro said.
Santa Rosa police are investigating Valencia’s murder, while the California Highway Patrol is investigating the vehicle pursuit. CHP officers found a firearm believed to be related to the shooting about 1400 feet north of the Marinwood overcrossing on U.S. 101, he said. The Marin County Sheriff’s Office is also investigating a carjacking involving Clinton. Anyone with information about Valencia’s murder is asked to call the Santa Rosa Police Department Violent Crimes Team at (707) 543-3590.
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