A female suspect remained at large after two apparently related home-invasion robberies left one victim dead and a second injured in unincorporated Sonoma County outside Santa Rosa Thursday morning, according to authorities.
Authorities were called about the robberies at about 6:45 a.m.
The first home invasion robbery happened off Fulton Road west of Santa Rosa around 4:20 a.m. There the first victim was shot but is expected to survive.
The second victim was reportedly shot multiple times after the same masked men broke into his home on Melcon Lane at around 6:45 a.m. First responders tried to revive him, but the man died from his injuries.
“There were multiple people in each house. One was shot at the Fulton address, then another at the Malcon Lane house,” said Sonoma County Sheriff’s Office spokesperson Misty Harris.
Deputies also said the two home invasions were connected and not random.
“Both of these appear to be marijuana-related, so we believe that’s the tie-in,” said Harris.
Authorities declined to offer any additional details, but in the video shot by Chopper Five Thursday, plants are visible growing in a greenhouse out back behind a high fence along with a covered speedboat and several cars.
A Google Earth image taken last summer shows what appeared to be dozens of full-grown marijuana plants.
Several guns were also stolen from the second home. Deputies said that makes it clear the crooks knew what they were after.
The suspects drove away in a van, leading deputies on a high-speed pursuit that ended in Vallejo, where authorities tried to spike strip the van.
The suspect’s vehicle crashed and rolled into another car at the intersection of Couch and Redwood. The crash sent that vehicle into a fire hydrant, knocking it over and sending water gushing into the sky.
“We heard this bang. People jumped out like cockroaches and are running all over. The police were behind them,” said witness Linda Bracciotti.
Pursuing police chased down three suspects, arresting one of them behind Bracciotti’s flower store.
“[It was] scary, because they apprehended the guy at my back door. And I left my back door wide open. He could very easily been in here,” said Bracciotti.
Authorities continued to search for the remaining two suspects, a man and a woman, who were still at large in the area.
A SWAT team canvassed the Vallejo neighborhood on Redwood Street after the crash, with officers and police K-9’s going from house to house looking for the two suspects who were believed to be armed.
Officers re-opened the neighborhood at around 2 p.m. after authorities were unable to find the two remaining suspects.
Sonoma County Sheriff’s deputies credited a Vallejo officer for spotting the van Thursday morning after authorities sent out an alert to nearby police agencies.
“Two home invasion robberies in one night; two shot, one dead,” said Sonoma County Sheriff’s Sgt. Spencer Crum. “This is a very significant incident for us.”