Bullets Fly Following SJ Traffic Stop

San Jose police said a 23-year-old man who was found dead after exchanging gunfire with police and barricading himself inside a city gas station appears to have died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

On Saturday, police identified him as Curtis Burleson, of Washington State.

The incident began Friday morning when an officer was conducting a vehicle check around 9:15 a.m. at Tuers Road and Capitol Expressway. The vehicle was confirmed to be stolen out of the state of Washington, police said.

As the officer was checking the vehicle, the driver exited the car, attacked the officer and took the officer's gun, firing several rounds, according to police. The officer was not hit but suffered minor injuries during the struggle.

San Jose police Sgt. Mike Sullivan said the suspect appears to have been struck once in the hand by a bullet during the exchange.

Still in possession of the officer's gun, the suspect hopped into the vehicle and drove around the corner to the intersection of McLaughlin Avenue and Capitol Expressway.

A second arriving officer responded and ordered the suspect to drop his weapon, police said. The officer returned fire and initially believed he had struck the suspect, but Sullivan said it does not appear the suspect was injured in that exchange.

The suspect then barricaded himself in a USA Gasoline station at the northwest corner of the intersection.

Officers and a SWAT team responded, attempting to make contact with the suspect. Investigators found a ballistic helmet, bulletproof vest and high-capacity bullet magazines in the suspect's trunk, according to police.

Then, shortly after 3 p.m., police units entered the gas station and found the suspect dead in a bathroom from what appears to be a self-inflicted gunshot wound, police said.

Police also recovered the officer's handgun.

The name of the suspect is being withheld pending notification of his next of kin.

The case is under investigation by the Police Department's internal affairs unit, the Santa Clara County District Attorney's Office and the Independent Police Auditor.

Anyone with information regarding the case is asked to call San Jose police Detective Sgt. Mike Brown or Detective Sgt. Dave Anaya at (408) 277-5283. To remain anonymous, call Crime Stoppers at (408) 947-STOP.

Contact Us