Some residents in Vallejo are raising concerns after an officer opened fire at a car-jacking suspect sprinting along neighborhood streets.
Video footage from the scene of the shooting captured an officer fire multiple shots at the suspect, who has since been identified as Victor Hurtado, during a foot pursuit last weekend. Neighbors have since started asking questions about why the officer opened fire, but police have insisted that Hurtado was armed and posed a threat to the public.
The shooting and part of the pursuit occurred along Santa Clara Street. At least three shots were fired, but the suspect was not hit.
Flying bullets made life uneasy for nearby resident Claire White, a local criminal defense attorney who recently voiced her concerns with the city council.
"Those rounds went somewhere," she said. "My kids were home right across the street from where this happened.”
Police countered those concerns by insisting that Hurtado had a gun. Just before the foot pursuit, Hurtado and his partner were wanted for pistol-whipping a man and stealing his car, according to the Napa County Sheriff's Department. The pair was later spotted in Vallejo before the foot pursuit took place.
"In this situation, you have an armed felon with parole violations fleeing through a neighborhood that’s dense with innocent people," Lt. Kent Tribble with the Vallejo Police Department said.
A gun was never recovered, but the officer who opened fire thought Hurtado was armed, according to Tribble.
"It looks like he may be holding something," Tribble said. "I can’t tell you if he was holding something or not, but [Hurtado's arms] are definitely not free-swinging like someone running an all-out sprint."
The officer has since been placed on administrative leave while an investigation is conducted.
White plans to take a group of neighbors to the next city council meeting to press city officials for more answers about the incident.