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CHP officers fire at carjack suspect

Modesto police investigators late Saturday were looking for a carjacker who was shot at by California Highway Patrol officers as he escaped into a west Modesto neighborhood.

Police, Stanislaus County sheriff's deputies and CHP officers established a four-block perimeter near Sutter and Pelton avenues.

Authorities launched an extensive search for the carjacker, but had not found him by 9 p.m., said Sgt. Craig Gundlach, a Modesto police spokesman.

Police described the carjacker as a Latino with a shaved head, wearing a red shirt and black pants.

At 1:08 p.m., a 20-year-old Modesto man called police to report he had just been carjacked in central Modesto.

The victim told police he was driving his 1996 white Ford Explorer and was stopped at a stop sign in the 1500 block of Albany, just east of Tully Road. The carjacker, holding a handgun, walked up and ordered him out of the SUV, Gundlach said.

The victim complied and the carjacker drove away without injuring the victim.

At 2:54 p.m., CHP officers spotted the sport utility vehicle and began following it in the area of Sutter and Nian Way. Gundlach said the man abandoned the vehicle and fled on foot.

He said CHP officers fired shots at the carjacker, but they don't believe the suspect was hit.

The shooting took place after the suspect crashed the stolen vehicle into a parked car. The officers involved in the shooting had not been interviewed by investigators, and details of the incident were not released.

"After everything that has occurred today with this suspect, we are considering him armed and dangerous," said Modesto police Lt. Gary Watts.

Bee staff writer Rosalio Ahumada can be reached at 578-2394 or