A man wanted in connection with an attempted homicide in San Jose was shot and killed by a police officer on Interstate Highway 5 in Stockton after a lengthy high-speed pursuit early this morning, authorities said. The fatal shooting came after a police chase started in Escalon, a city east of Stockton, according to Escalon police. Escalon police acting Chief Milt Medeiros said at 12:39 a.m. an officer noticed a Susuki brand car weaving on state Highway 120 at Irwin Avenue in Escalon.
When the officer checked the license plate of a car driven by the 43-year-old man he learned that it was connected to the San Jose attempted murder, Medeiros said. The officer tried to pull over the car which was when the driver accelerated rapidly and left city limits. The officer eventually lost sight of the car in a rural part of unincorporated San Joaquin County when the driver turned off his lights. During the chase, speeds reached up to 110 mph, Medeiros said.
The officer decided the pursuit had become too risky and terminated the chase. The California Highway Patrol had been notified about the chase and the suspect and found on the car on northbound state Highway 99 in the central Stockton area around 1 a.m., CHP Officer Dan Sepulveda said. CHP officers also attempted to stop the car, but the driver continued on Highway 99 at high speeds.
He exited at East Hammer Lane and the chase continued westbound on Hammer Lane through the city of Stockton. Eventually the chase went onto southbound Interstate Highway 5 with Stockton police also responding. Stockton police Officer Joseph Silva said police learned that a “be on the lookout” alert had been issued for the car. The chase continued with the driver heading off I-5 and moving onto city streets in the northern part of the city before returning to the highway.
The driver stopped when a mechanical issue left the car disabled on southbound I-5 near Alpine Avenue and Country Club Boulevard in Stockton. The suspect did not comply with police orders to surrender, and got out of the car armed with a knife, Silva said. One of the responding Stockton police officers, fearing for her life, shot at the suspect, according to Silva. At least one round struck him, and he was taken to a hospital, where he later died.
Investigators have learned that the man was also wanted out of Merced for a domestic violence incident there. The officer involved in the shooting has been placed on paid leave, Silva said. Southbound I-5 at Alpine Avenue, just north of where the shooting occurred, was shut down and opened around noon. The man’s identity has not yet been released.