Armed Citizen Opens Fire On Gang Member Firing Sawed-Off Shotgun At Cops
Fresno, CA – A suspect who fired multiple shotgun rounds at police on Tuesday is in custody after two good Samaritans jumped in to help officers take down the fleeing suspect.
The incident occurred at about 5:30 p.m. on March 24 after officers on routine patrol near downtown Fresno tried to affect a traffic stop on a speeding Nissan, KGPE reported.
The suspect vehicle fled and crashed near the intersection of East Grant Avenue and North Valeria Street.
After the wreck, the driver and the passenger both jumped out of the car and officers could see the driver had a sawed-off shotgun, KGPE reported.
The driver – later identified as 29-year-old Michael Sanchez - opened fire on the officers, forcing them to take cover and return fire.
"As the driver began running from the officers, he turned and began firing at officers. Fearing for their safety, the officers returned fire," Fresno Police Captain Joey Alvarez said, according to KFSN.
The armed suspect attempted to flee on foot but a legally-armed good Samaritan stepped up to help police, according to KGPE.
"The individual brandished the gun at him and fearing for his safety, the citizen also shot at our suspect," Capt. Alvarez said
The good Samaritan fired rounds at Sanchez, who dropped to the ground when he was struck, but then quickly got back up and ran.
He fled to a nearby apartment complex and tried to force his way into a home, but that’s when a second good Samaritan appeared to foil his plan, KGPE reported.
The man tackled the armed suspect to the ground and held him there until police caught up and were able to take him into custody, KGPE reported.
“Right now we’re incredibly lucky that no officer was hurt and no citizen was hurt,” Capt. Alvarez said.
Police said Sanchez is a known gang member, KGPE reported.
Sanchez was transported to the hospital with a gunshot wound to his chest and was reportedly in “stable condition.”
It wasn’t yet known whether he was shot by police or the helpful armed citizen.
Fresno Police Sergeant Jeff La Blue said Sanchez has been charged with attempted murder on a police officer and felon in possession of a firearm, according to KGPE.
The passenger in Sanchez’s car – 40-year-old Louis Longinos - fled the scene but was later apprehended by police at the address where they suspect vehicle was registered.
Longinos was released without charges, KGPE reported.