Police Shoot, Kill Suspect Following San Jose Chase

Shooting is second officer-involved fatal shooting of the day in Bay Area

A suspect was shot and killed in San Jose Saturday afternoon, according to San Jose police.

The shooting followed a high speed chase on the streets and highways of south San Jose during which the suspect rammed three police cars, police said.

Police said after crashing his car, the man made a threatening jesture at officers who returned fire.

Several witnesses called the newsroom to report a chase through the streets of south San Jose around 3 p.m. 

Campbell police told NBC Bay Area that they helped in the pursuit for a time as it made its way through Campbell. Sgt. Bruce Hushbeck said his officers were involved for just 3 to 4 minutes but when the suspect vehicle got on Highway 17 they pulled off and let San Jose police pursue the suspect.

San Jose police said it all began near Bascom and Union when an officer noticed a driver acting suspiciously. Officer Albert Morales said the officer was patrolling due to a recent increase in burglaries in the area, and thought the vehicle looked suspicious and attempted to make a traffic stop. However, the suspect immediately took off at a high rate of speed, Morales said. The officer let the suspect go at that point without a pursuit, because there was no actual crime.

When the same officer came upon the car a second time, the driver rammed his patrol vehicle.  

That's when the chase started.

The chase went down Highway 85 at high speeds. The initial officer had to drop out of the pursuit due to damage to his vehicle, but before he did stated that the suspect appeared to be pointing something like a firearm in his direction, police said

There are reports the man, who has not been identified, threw items out of his vehicle as he was speeding ahead of police. The items included a woman's purse and several baseball bats.

At some point in the pursuit the suspect appears to have struck two additional marked police cars, Morales said. 

The suspect's car suffered heavy damage and was caught on cell phone video driving down Santa Teresa Boulevard with only three wheels.

The actual officer-involved shooting happened near Blossom Avenue and Calero Avenue.  That is near Blossom Hill Road and Highway 85.  At least one San Jose police vehicle had several bullet holes at that scene. People who live along the street said they heard multiple gunshots at the conclusion of the chase.

Police said once the chase moved into a neighborhood, officers felt the suspect’s action’s presented an "on going and immediate danger to the public and they decided to use their patrol vehicle to box him in and forcing the suspect to stop."

After the suspect’s vehicle came to a stop, he got out  and disobeyed officer’s orders and commands.

"Based on the suspect’s violent behavior and the belief that he was armed with a firearm, two officers fired several shots at the suspect when he made a threatening motion. The suspect was struck and he was pronounced deceased at the scene a short time later," the police statement read.

Police said two officers fired and struck the suspect. No other injuries were reported.

Police have not located a weapon at the scene but are still canvassing the stretch of freeway where the suspect was seen discarding items, Morales said. The public has returned some items that were discarded, including a woman's purse and a bag full of baseball bats.

Police are also investigating whether the car the suspect was driving was an unreported stolen vehicle.

The shooting is the second officer involved fatality in the Bay Area Saturday. A Daly City officer shot and killed a man who he said had a gun that had run from officers after taking them on a chase in a stolen vehicle.

Below is the raw video of the scene near the end of the chase and an interview with a witness. .

Police said the incident marked the department's first officer-involved shooting of 2013. The San Jose Police Department had four officer-involved shooting in 2012 (one was fatal). In 2011, San Jose had eight officer-involved shootings (four were fatal).

Bay City News contributed to this report. 

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