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 suspect was identified as Robert Craig Perry, 43, whose last known residence was in Santa Nella. Perry had a no-bail warrant from San Jose for attempted homicide and a $50,000 warrant from Merced County for domestic violence, according to Stockton police.
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 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 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 car blew a tire but continued until becoming completely disabled on southbound I-5 between Alpine and Michigan avenues in Stockton, Stockton police said.
The officers could see the suspect inside waving a knife and to get a better look through the darkness and tinted windows, a police sergeant fired rubber baton rounds into the driver’s side window, but only punched holes through it. The suspect at one point opened his door and a pit bull got out. It went toward the officers who put it in the back of a patrol car. The suspect also threw a firework out, Stockton police said. The suspect eventually opened the door and started to get out but went back in the car as the officers approached. A police dog was released and bit the suspect on the arm and pulled him from the car.
Fighting with the dog, the man raised a knife as officers approached, and an officer, identified as Kristen McClure, feared for her life and shot at the suspect, Stockton police said. At least one round struck him, and he was taken to a hospital, where he later died. McClure, who joined the department in 2011, 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.
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