crime

Vallejo PD's Search for Missing Woman Ends in East Bay Chase, Fatal Police Shooting

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What began as a report of a missing 29-year-old Vallejo woman Thursday morning ended in a chase and fatal officer-involved shooting in Richmond that night, officials said.

Around 8 a.m. Vallejo police received a call from family members of the woman, who they said had left around a half an hour earlier to go to breakfast with 24-year-old Vallejo resident Juan Ayon-Barraza.

But a short time later Ayon-Barraza called the family and made an "unsettling comment" that they considered so worrisome they sought Ayon-Barraza out in person and demanded to know where the woman was, Vallejo police said.

Ayon-Barraza, however, did not answer the family's questions and left.

Vallejo Police searched for the woman, but were not able to determine her whereabouts until later in the evening.

Around 6:45 p.m. police in Moraga received a 911 call from someone who believed that they had witnessed a man in a white van dumping a woman's body in the unincorporated area of Contra Costa County.

Police responded to the area of Pinehurst Road and Skyline Boulevard where the alleged body was dumped. They witnessed the suspect's vehicle leaving the scene, and after attempting to make contact with the suspect, a chase ensued.

Because of the location in unincorporated Contra Costa County, Moraga Police, Oakland Police and Contra Costa County Sheriff's deputies responded initially. Richmond Police later became involved.

The pursuit, which lasted about 20 minutes, led to Richmond, where the suspect allegedly rammed a police car and an officer.

Authorities said the suspect then pointed a firearm at police, and officers opened fire, killing the suspect. The suspect's vehicle then collided with an Oakland Police vehicle.

Witnesses said they heard several shots and saw the suspect barricade himself inside a building.

"It sounded like they came from different guns," said one witness. "Shortly after, I saw helicopters in the sky and police flooded 37th Street. I've never seen them come that quickly."

Two officers sustained non life-threatening injuries.

It turned out the woman dumped and left for dead in the Oakland hills was still alive, police said. They were able to confirm that she was the same woman who Vallejo Police had been searching for. She was taken to a hospital in critical condition with a gunshot wound and is on life support.

The deceased suspect was identified as Ayon-Barraza.

The investigation is ongoing, police said, and anyone with information should contact the Contra Costa County District AttorneyÔÇÖs Office at 925-957-2200 or Sgt. Pomeroy with the Richmond Police Department at 510-620-6616.

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