OAKDALE — Oakdale police Wednesday morning identified the two suspects arrested after a five-hour manhunt Tuesday night.
Eric Silva, 18, of Riverbank and James Fitzjarrell, 19, of Oakdale are suspected of stealing guns and firing at an officer. No one was hurt in the incident, which began just before 5 p.m. with a report of two men hiding in an alley in the 400 block of Dodge Avenue.
According to authorities, officers found an unloaded 12-gauge shotgun but no suspects. A few minutes later, another officer spotted two males walking in the 400 block of Church Avenue. They were carrying heavy bags that they dropped once they saw the officer. The suspects ran in different directions, and a search ensued.
An officer found one of the suspects near railroad tracks on Gilbert Avenue and chased him on foot. When the suspect shot at the officer, police called for help from surrounding agencies. As many as 100 officers responded from agencies including the Modesto and Ceres police departments, the California Highway Patrol, and the Stanislaus County Sheriff's Department, which brought its helicopter.
A Ceres police K-9 found one suspect on Mann Court, and he was taken into custody. More than two hours later, the Modesto police SWAT team found the second suspect hiding in a back yard in the 100 block of West J Street.
The handgun used to fire at the officer was located about 10 p.m. in the back yard of Vivian Looney's house on Mann Court.
Looney said she believes the suspect entered her yard through the garage door she had left open when she went to her in-laws' house. On her way back into town on Yosemite Avenue at Greger Street, she was stopped by police and told she couldn't get to her house.
Her husband made his way to the area later to give police permission to search their home, where officers found the pistol buried in a leaf pile in the back yard, Looney said.
Police said in a news release that the shot fired was a "grossly negligent discharge as the suspect was running away from the initial responding officers."
Officers found six long guns and two semiautomatic pistols in the bags the suspects left behind; these were later found to have been stolen from an Oakdale home.