Two arrested after chase, shots fired at officer in Oakdale

01/29/2013 5:50 PM

06/26/2013 2:30 PM

Dozens of law enforcement personnel from around the county converged on the city Tuesday night after a suspect being chased by an officer fired at him, police said.

About 5:15 p.m., officers were dispatched to the area of Birdwell Street and Davitt Avenue for a report of two suspicious people. Upon their arrival, officers found six shotguns and rifles, wrapped in various items such as sleeping bags, said Police Chief Lester Jenkins.

Several blocks away, they located the suspects. "One suspect ran west, one suspect ran east," Jenkins said. "The officer that chased the suspect that ran west was fired upon, but not hit, fortunately."

Jenkins said the officers called for backup from surrounding agencies, but somehow a misconception spread among law enforcement that officers had called for an 1199, which means an officer needs help and every available unit should respond.

In fact, some responding law enforcement officers were under the impression the officer had been hit, Jenkins said, adding that he is working to determine where the miscommunication originated.

He estimates that 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.

"It seems like we got more officers than we needed, but it feels good to get that kind of support when your officers are being fired at," he said.

A very large perimeter was set up to search for the suspect, from Wood Avenue to the west, G Street to the north, Yosemite Avenue to the east and the railroad tracks to the south. Jenkins estimates that about 100 homes were in the search area.

Just after 6 p.m. Ceres police officers located one of the suspects near the railroad tracks on Mann Court and took him into custody at gunpoint. Jenkins said the officer who was fired upon identified the suspect as the man who shot at him. About 9:30 p.m., the handgun used in the shooting was found in the court.

The suspect's name and age were not available Tuesday night, but Jenkins said he is from Riverbank.

After locating the first suspect, officers narrowed their search to a two-block area and the Modesto Police Department's SWAT team did a yard-to-yard search.

About 9 p.m., the second suspect was located in the 100 block of J Street.

Police said all the wea-pons recovered are believed to have been taken during a burglary in the area Tuesday afternoon. The suspects' charges were not available Tuesday night. Potential charges faced by the man suspected of shooting are attempted murder of a police officer and assault with a deadly weapon. Both men could face charges of resisting arrest and burglary.

Although classes were over for the day at Oakdale High School, the campus was put on lockdown because students still were present in after-school programs. Those students left safely, said Principal Mike Moore, as did students in a Columbia College course that was being held on the campus.

Parent night for families of eighth-grade students who will attend Oakdale High next year was canceled. Oak Valley Hospital also was on lockdown. Both were lifted at 9:20 p.m.

Bee staff writer Erin Tracy can be reached at etracy@modbee.com or (209) 578-2366. Follow her on Twitter, @ModestoBeeCrime.

Raw video from the scene.

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