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Gene Kennedy Reporting A suspect in a stolen car is now in the hospital after a police officer shot him. The officer is on paid administrative leave until an investigation of the incident wraps up.
Police have not yet released the suspect's identity, and say they won't until he's charged and in jail. He still has to undergo surgery for his multiple gunshot wounds.
Not only do police feel the shooting was justified, but they say they've dealt this guy before. "At the time of this incident last night, one of our domestic violence detectives had a case against him where he had stolen his mother's car," West Valley police spokesman Capt. Tom McLachlan said.
When his family tried to stop him, he attacked them. "He attempted to run them over. So, it's not like this is his first ride at Disneyland," McLachlan said.
Last night's wild ride ended around 11:30 p.m. at the Ridgeland Downs condominium complex. Police say the suspect stole his mom's car again. An officer spotted it and followed him to the condos.
But when police tried to pull the suspect over at a dead end alley, he wasn't stopping and headed strait for the police officer. "The officer was outside his vehicle. This gentleman was trying to get away and put the officer's life in danger," McLachlan said. "The officer felt he was gonna be crushed between the two vehicles, run over or otherwise injured."
So, the officer shot the 28-year-old suspect multiple times. Neighbors, who didn't want to be identified, heard the gunfire. "He was leaning over the steering wheel shot when I leaned outside my gate," one neighbor said.
Another neighbor said there was a passenger in the suspect's car. "They were taking a girl out of the car and down the alleyway because she was in there with him," the neighbor said. That passenger hasn't been charged.
When the suspect is able to go to jail, he'll most likely be booked on criminal homicide and aggravated assault charges.
Meantime, it will take at least a week for an investigation to determine if the officer made the right call by shooting the suspect.