An assailant shot three sheriff’s deputies in two neighboring Northern California counties on Friday, also shooting and wounding a bystander in an attempt to carjack a vehicle, sheriff’s officials said.
Deputies were searching a canyon in the Sierra Nevada foothills near Auburn Friday afternoon for an armed man suspected in all four shootings. Placer County Sheriff’s spokeswoman Dena Erwin told The Associated Press that a woman who was seen with the man earlier in the day had been taken into custody, and Erwin said the woman had a handgun in her purse.
Residents in the rural area were being urged to stay indoors and Erwin said nearby schools were on lockdown as multiple law enforcement agencies searched for the remaining suspect.
The condition of the three deputies and bystander was not immediately known.
The dramatic events began around 10:30 a.m. when a Sacramento County deputy was shot as he approached a suspicious occupied vehicle in a parking lot in a commercial area, Sacramento County spokeswoman Sgt. Lisa Bowman said.
The driver of the vehicle and a female passenger then fled the scene and shot a fourth person in a residential area of Sacramento County when a driver refused to give up the keys to a vehicle, she said.
After carjacking a second vehicle, the suspects fled to neighboring Placer County, where the assailant is suspected of shooting two Placer County sheriff’s deputies, Erwin said.
The tree-lined canyon is about 32 miles northwest of Sacramento, where the series of events began Friday morning.
“We had a citizen report a vehicle matching the description of the red truck from Sacramento County shooting this morning,” Erwin said. “Our deputies swarmed the area, found the truck. The suspect fired a shot, hit one of our deputies and fled into the American River Canyon area.”
She said the suspect used a rifle to shoot the deputy, who was taken to the nearby Roseville Medical Center for treatment. She later confirmed that a second Placer County deputy also had been shot.
In the first incident involving a Sacramento County deputy, Bowman could not say whether the officer was able to shoot back, but confirmed he was struck by at least one shot.
“We’re hoping for the best,” she said more than two hours after the initial shooting.
A second person was then shot when they refused to give up the keys to a vehicle during an attempted carjacking, Bowman said. The suspects then carjacked at least two vehicles before fleeing to the Auburn area.
SOURCE: The Associated Press