FAIRFIELD — A high-speed chase late Saturday involving a vehicle authorities connected to a San Francisco police officer’s shooting covered four Bay Area counties, including Solano, before ending in the South Bay.
The California Highway Patrol responded to a request from San Francisco police at 10:55 p.m. to stop a vehicle on eastbound Interstate 80 in the Albany/El Cerrito area, according to CHP officer Daniel Hill. Police believed the vehicle was connected to an afternoon shooting that wounded a police officer in the city’s Mission District.
San Francisco Police Officer Gordon Shyy said police developed leads linking the white sedan to the officer-involved shooting and followed the vehicle toward the East Bay. CHP tried to stop the car, but the suspect failed to yield and evaded police, Shyy said in a statement.
A pursuit continued on eastbound I-80 from El Cerrito to Fairfield/Cordelia junction, where occupants tossed a bag outside the vehicle about 11:40 p.m., according to Hill. CHP retrieved the bag, but Hill would not disclose its contents pending the police investigation.
Fairfield police were positioned at the Suisun Valley Road offramp shortly after 11:15 p.m., ready to lay down spike strips should the suspect vehicle leave the freeway there. Instead, the sedan took the exit to merge onto southbound Interstate 680. The pursuit had reached speeds of 105 mph on eastbound I-80 near Red Top Road in Solano County.
The suspect continued on southbound I-680 from Cordelia through Solano, Contra Costa and Alameda counties to San Jose in Santa Clara County, where CHP officers were able to use a spike strip to end the chase about 12:30 a.m. Sunday. The vehicle got off the highway at McKee Road and stopped at a gas station, where CHP officers detained three people.
San Francisco police responded to the scene and took over the investigation.
Police questioned and released two women and arrested Jeffery Ruano, 50, of San Francisco, on suspicion of assault with a deadly weapon, being a convicted felon in possession of ammunition, driving in excess of 100 mph, evading police officers and a misdemeanor warrant.
San Francisco police did not say whether Ruano will be charged in the shooting that wounded Officer Adam Shaw, 28.
“While we do have an arrest, it’s still an active and open investigation,” Shyy told The Associated Press.
The situation developed Saturday as Shaw and his partner were responding to a vandalism report in San Francisco. They spotted a suspicious vehicle in the city’s Mission District. Shyy said the car began to back up as Shaw approached, prompting his partner to fire several shots.
“An independent witness” heard shots fired from the suspect car, Shyy told AP, so “we do believe that the officer was shot by a suspect.”
Police say Ruano’s charge of assault with a deadly weapon stems from him allegedly backing up on the officers — with the vehicle as the deadly weapon.
That car was found abandoned a couple of hours later in a Daly City shopping mall about 10 miles south of the shooting. The discovery triggered a search involving several area law enforcement agencies, but a suspect wasn’t immediately found, Shyy said. The mall remained open during the roughly three-hour search, but police stopped residents in the area from entering their homes.
The search continued late into the night, when San Francisco police spotted the white sedan that they associated with the afternoon shooting. The officers followed the car out of the city and across the Bay Bridge before asking CHP officers to assist.
Police officers reported little to no traffic on freeways at the time of the late Saturday-early Sunday pursuit, which averaged speeds between 90 and 100 mph, reaching 120 mph, Hill said. Police said the pursuit terminated without incident, crashes or injuries.
Shaw underwent surgery for a bullet wound to the shoulder and was recovering Sunday, according to police. He’s a six-year veteran of the department.
The Associated Press and Glen Faison contributed to this report. Reach Adrienne Harris at 427-6956 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her on Twitter at www.twitter.com/aharrisdr.