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Suspected car thief shot by Santa Ana schools police officer

January 11, 2011 |  2:47 pm


A suspected car thief was shot and wounded Tuesday by a Santa Ana Unified School District police officer during a confrontation near two schools, authorities said.

Two officers stopped a car for a traffic violation shortly after 10 a.m. at the intersection of 5th and Fairview streets near Spurgeon Intermediate School and Community Day Intermediate and High School, said Santa Ana police Cpl. Anthony Bertagna.

At some point after stopping, the driver tried to run over one of the officers with his car, prompting the other officer to open fire and shoot the man at least once in the upper body, Bertagna said.

The man, who was taken later to a hospital with non-life-threatening injuries, continued to drive another 14 blocks to the 3000 block of West Brook Street, where he abandoned the car and fled on foot.

He ran another two blocks before knocking on the door of a random house and announcing he had been shot by police, Bertagna said.

“That’s when the resident of that house called us, and we took him into custody,” Bertagna said.

Upon further investigation, authorities discovered the man’s car, a 2007 blue Hyundai four-door, was reported stolen earlier in Fountain Valley, police said.


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Photo: An investigator picks up an evidence marker at 720 Fairview Avenue in front of the Santa Ana School District office where a Santa Ana school resource officer shot a suspect.  The suspect has been taken into custody. Credit: Don Bartletti / Los Angeles Times