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Police shoot suspected car thief after he fires at officers

November 18, 2011 |  5:49 pm

Police car

San Bernardino police shot and wounded a suspected car thief who fired at officers during a car chase on city streets Friday morning, authorities said.

The suspect, Michael Madrigal, 27, was shot several times, authorities said. He was listed in critical condition at Loma Linda University Medical Center.

According to a statement released by the San Bernardino Police Department, an officer on patrol near Fremontia Drive and Alexander Avenue ran the license plate number of the car Madrigal was driving and discovered that it had been reported stolen. When the officer tried to pull the car over, Madrigal fled.

The car chase lasted six minutes, with Madrigal firing on four officers driving in pursuit, according to department spokeswoman Lt. Gwendolyn Waters. One of the bullets struck the front of a police cruiser, she said. None of the officers fired their weapons during the chase, she said.

Madrigal eventually stopped in front of his family’s home in the 1300 block of North Roxbury Drive, where the officers, fearing for their lives, shot at him, Waters said. Police recovered two handguns allegedly used by the suspect. No officers were injured.

“We are very thankful our officers were not injured and were able to resolve this incident without any innocent people being hurt," Chief of Police Robert Handy said in a statement.
Madrigal is expected to survive.


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--- Phil Willon in Riverside

Photo: Damaged San Bernardino police cruiser. Credit: San Bernardino Police Department