A suspected car thief who was shot and killed by police in Concord on Wednesday night after allegedly ramming a patrol car has been identified as 26-year-old Jose Avalos of Bay Point, a police lieutenant said today. The two officers involved in the shooting have both been placed on routine administrative leave pending the results of an investigation into the shooting. One has eight years of law enforcement experience while the other has spent three years on the job, according to Concord police Lt. David Hughes.
The shooting happened after Concord police were called to the Sunvalley Mall area around 8:45 p.m. Wednesday to assist Contra Costa County sheriff’s deputies pursue the driver of a stolen car. Deputies pursued the driver after he failed to stop, leading them on a chase that was temporarily halted in Concord after he drove the wrong way on the freeway, Hughes said. The driver of the stolen vehicle, later identified as Avalos, abandoned the car at the mall and fled on foot toward the nearby Willows Shopping Center, located alongside Interstate Highway 680.
Police said the suspect tried unsuccessfully to carjack two other vehicles but later gained control of a car on his third attempt. Police confronted him in the rear of the shopping center’s parking lot and the suspect drove the recently stolen car into a police vehicle, Hughes said. Officers shot Avalos several times “in defense of themselves and the public,” Hughes said in a statement.
Police said officers immediately summoned emergency medical aid, but the suspect died from his injuries. Contra Costa County’s district attorney’s office and sheriff’s office along with Concord police were called to the scene and are jointly investigating the incident, Hughes said. Police said Avalos was a felon with multiple convictions and was on probation for being a felon in possession of a firearm. Officers later located a gun near the stolen car Avalos abandoned in the Sunvalley Mall parking lot, Hughes said.
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