Riverside deputy opens fire on auto-theft suspect following road chase
RAINBOW (KUSI) — At least one sheriff’s deputy opened fire Friday on an auto-theft suspect — missing him — during a pursuit through the far northern reaches of San Diego County and southern Temecula, authorities reported.
The meandering two-county chase, which ended with the fleeing man’s arrest, began about 9:30 a.m., when Carlsbad police officers in an unmarked car spotted a stolen car near Pala Casino in Valley Center, said San Diego County sheriff’s Lt. Rich Williams.
The officers followed the vehicle and called for backup as the unidentified suspect drove to the north on Pala Temecula Road, according to Williams.
After entering Temecula, the suspect drove over various residential streets, tailed by California Highway Patrol officers and Riverside County sheriff’s deputies, then headed south and crossed back into the San Diego area.
The personnel briefly lost sight of the suspect’s car before finding it abandoned in the 2900 block of Rainbow Valley Road in Rainbow, near Interstate 15 and northeast of Fallbrook.
As the deputies and officers searched the vicinity, they soon spotted the suspect driving a second vehicle, which he apparently had just stolen in the rural neighborhood.
As the personnel tried to contact the fleeing man, he plowed the vehicle through a fence and steered it toward a Riverside County sheriff’s deputy, at which point the law enforcement shooting occurred, the lieutenant said.
Unharmed, the suspect continued fleeing for a time before crashing the vehicle into a creek bed. He then got out of the car and ran off toward Pala Community Park in Temecula.
Deputies fanned out through that area and soon captured the suspect. His name remained unavailable early this evening.
No injuries were reported.
The pursuit and deputy-involved shooting were being investigated by the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department.