National News

4 California sheriff’s deputies hurt in shootout, chase with rifle-wielding suspect

todayMarch 4, 2024


Robyn Beck/ Getty Images

(SANTA ROSA, Ca.) — Four Northern California sheriff’s deputies were injured, one critically, during a gunfight early Monday with a suspect who led them on a car chase and opened fire on them before dying in a crash, authorities said.

The shooting occurred just after midnight local time near Santa Rosa in Sonoma County, authorities said. The suspect was killed after crashing his vehicle, according to the Sonoma County Sheriff’s Office.

“During the pursuit, the suspect stopped, fired shots at the deputies, and continued the pursuit. Deputies returned fire and, ultimately, the suspect crashed the vehicle he was driving,” the sheriff’s office said in a statement.

A motive for the shooting is under investigation by the Santa Rosa Police Department.

One of the deputies involved in the incident suffered a head injury and was taken to a hospital in critical but stable condition, according to the sheriff’s office. Another deputy suffered a bullet wound to the leg, and two others sustained unspecified injuries to their hands, the sheriff’s office said.

The names of the dead suspect and the injured deputies were not immediately released.

The incident unfolded when the deputies responded to investigate a report of a person brandishing a rifle in an unincorporated Sonoma County area west of Santa Rosa, according to the sheriff’s office.

When the deputies arrived at the scene, they found the suspect, who got into a vehicle and sped off, leading the deputies on a chase, the sheriff’s office said.

The suspect was pronounced dead at the scene of the crash. It was not immediately clear if he died from injuries suffered in the crash or if he was shot by one of the deputies who returned fire.

The Santa Rosa Police Department was assigned to investigate the incident after the Sonoma County Sheriff’s Office invoked a critical incident protocol for officer-involved shooting.

The sheriff’s department said the chase and gunfight were captured on body-worn cameras the deputies were equipped with. The footage is expected to be made public at some point in keeping with state law, according to the sheriff’s department.

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