3 California sheriffs' deputies shot, 1 dies


SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) -- A Sacramento County sheriff's deputy who was shot while investigating a suspicious vehicle has died.

Sacramento County Sheriff Scott Jones says the 47-year-old deputy was killed after he approached a suspicious vehicle and was shot in the forehead.

Three deputies and a bystander were shot during a series of shootings Friday that spanned more than 30 miles through two California counties.

Deputies were still searching for the armed suspect along a steep, tree-lined river canyon in the Sierra Nevada foothills near Auburn Friday afternoon.

Jones says he does not know a motive for the shootings.

Placer County Sheriff's spokeswoman Dena Erwin says two deputies also were shot there as the manhunt continued.

A woman who was with the man was in custody. Authorities say she had a handgun in her purse.

THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. Check back soon for further information. AP's earlier story is below.

An assailant shot three sheriff's deputies in two neighboring Northern California counties on Friday, setting off a 30-mile chase and massive manhunt after a bystander was also wounded in a carjacking, sheriff's officials said.

Deputies were searching a steep, tree-lined river canyon in the Sierra Nevada foothills near Auburn Friday afternoon for an armed man suspected in all four shootings.

Placer County Sheriff's spokeswoman Dena Erwin told The Associated Press that a woman who was seen with the man earlier in the day had been taken into custody. Erwin said the woman had a handgun in her purse.

Residents in the rural area were being urged to stay indoors while nearby schools were on lockdown as multiple law enforcement agencies searched for the remaining suspect.

An area high school was surrounded by law enforcement and students were being evacuated. The district said all Auburn-area schools were in lockdown and the district asked parents not to come to any of three high school campuses.

The condition of the three deputies and bystander was not immediately known.

The dramatic events began around 10:30 a.m. when a Sacramento County deputy was shot as he approached a suspicious occupied vehicle in a parking lot in a commercial area, Sacramento County spokeswoman Sgt. Lisa Bowman said.

The driver of the vehicle and a female passenger fled the scene and shot a person in a residential area of Sacramento County when a driver refused to give up the keys to a vehicle, she said.

The assailants then took the pickup truck belonging to Jose Cruz, who was gardening outside a client's house in Sacramento's Arden area.

Cruz told The Sacramento Bee that a man in a white Ford Mustang convertible told him he needed a favor: "I need your keys," the man said. "Hurry up, because they're chasing me."

The man pointed a gun at Cruz and had a bloody shirt wrapped around his other arm. But he helped Cruz unhitch his work trailer before driving off.

"I feel lucky that he didn't hurt me," Cruz said. "When they pull (a gun) on you, you don't know if it's loaded, then in one second, they pull a trigger and that's it."

The suspects then fled to neighboring Placer County, where the assailant is suspected of shooting two Placer County sheriff's deputies about 32 miles northwest of Sacramento.

"We had a citizen report a vehicle matching the description of the red truck from Sacramento County shooting this morning," Erwin said. "Our deputies swarmed the area, found the truck. The suspect fired a shot, hit one of our deputies and fled into the American River Canyon area."

She said the suspect used a rifle to shoot the deputy, who was taken to the nearby Roseville Medical Center for treatment. She later confirmed that a second Placer County deputy also had been shot.

In the first incident involving a Sacramento County deputy, Bowman could not say whether the officer was able to shoot back, but confirmed he was struck by at least one shot.

"We're hoping for the best," she said more than two hours after the initial shooting.


Associated Press writers Judy Lin and Juliet Williams, and AP Photographer Rich Pedroncelli, contributed to this story.

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