The reward has been increased for information leading to the arrest of a second suspect in a Friday crime spree that resulted in the murder of a San Jose man and the shooting of a police officer, San Jose Mayor Chuck Reed announced today. Reed joined leaders from the City Council and Police Department this morning to announce that his office will add $10,000 to the $10,000 already offered up by the San Jose Police Officers Association on Sunday. One suspect, San Jose resident Jonathan Wilbanks, 26, is already in custody, but police are looking for his accomplice in the two-hour crime spree that escalated into what Assistant police Chief Rikki Goede called a “carjacking gone bad.”
Police today released a sketch of the suspect and Goede said investigators are asking the public for information about him. Although Wilbanks is in custody, Goede said he has not given police any big leads on his accomplice so far. “He’s given us the indications that he wants to give us, let’s put it that way,” Goede said, later adding that police have no idea who or where the other suspect is. “He could be anywhere,” she said. Police said Wilbanks and his accomplice committed four robberies on Friday, starting with a Little Caesars Pizza in the 2800 block of Story Road at 7:25 p.m. They then allegedly robbed a gas station in the 1000 block of E. Capitol Expressway at 7:40 p.m., a Jack on the Box in the 600 block of Curtner Avenue at 8:43 p.m., and a spa in the 1400 block of Bird Avenue at 8:58 p.m. Minutes later, the suspects allegedly shot San Jose resident Rory Parkpettiford, 22, while carjacking him in the parking lot of a 7-Eleven store in the 400 block of South Kiely Boulevard. ParkPettiford died at the scene.
The crime spree escalated further when the pair ran into police around 9:13 p.m. near U.S. Highway 101 and Interstate Highway 280, where officers had seen the vehicle. The vehicle fled and police pursued until the vehicle stopped at a red light at Tully Road and Lanai Avenue and the suspects got out and allegedly opened fire on the officers. Officer Bruce Barthelemy and another officer, whose identity has not been released, returned fire and hit Wilbanks. The second officer was injured during the exchange, suffering two gunshot wounds. The suspects then got back into their car and drove away, with police chasing them.
The suspects allegedly continued to fire at police as they drove. At some point, the passenger jumped out of the car and fled on foot while Wilbanks continued to flee in the vehicle. Wilbanks’ vehicle then crashed on Cunningham Avenue on the west side of Reid-Hillview Airport where he fled on foot, eventually entering a house through the back door. The residents told police where he was and officers surrounded the house and arrested him. Goede said today that Wilbanks did not appear to be under the influence of drugs or alcohol when he was arrested. Wilbanks was treated for two gunshot wounds that were not life-threatening and was arrested on suspicion of murder, two counts of attempted murder, four counts of robbery, burglary and auto theft. The injured officer has since been treated for his gunshot wounds and was released.
Though Reed and police have often been at odds over fiscal issues and pension plans for officers, today they agreed that the second suspect needs to be found. “We need to get him off the street as soon as possible,” Reed said, calling the suspect “a danger to the community and a danger to police officers.” He said, “We know that people know these suspects … We’re probably talking about people that might not necessarily be willing to help us, $20,000 will get their attention.” Police say the second suspect is described as a Hispanic or black man between 20 and 25 years old who weighs about 180 to 200 pounds. He is 5 foot 10 inches to 6 feet tall and was wearing a gray hooded sweatshirt and white tennis shoes at the time of the crime. Anyone with information about the alleged crimes or the identity and whereabouts of the second suspect should contact San Jose police Detective Sgt. Craig Storlie at (408) 277-5283. Anonymous tips can be made by calling (408) 947-7867 or go to www.tipsubmit.com.
Please call the Fugitive Watch hot line at 1-800-9-CAUGHT (1-800-922-8448) or text us at 408-355-0999 or CLICK HERE to send a confidential email tip, if you have any information that can help solve this crime.
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