A state park ranger shot a gun at an escaping suspect who tried to run him over in his own patrol vehicle Monday morning.
Los Angeles County Sheriff’s homicide detectives are investigating the incident, in which one of two suspects received a gunshot wound.
The ranger had two people in handcuffs – Julian Cates, a 25-year-old man and Chazlya Burke, a 21-year-old woman – in the back of a sports utility vehicle in the Hungry Valley Park area above Pyramid Lake shortly before 11 a.m. The pair was detained in connection with a stolen vehicle report.
Cates “managed to move his handcuffs from a rear position to a front position, and jump into the driver’s seat of the Park Ranger’s patrol SUV,” according to a sheriff’s statement.
“The male suspect drove away with the female suspect in the back seat and a Park Ranger clinging to the side of the Patrol SUV,” the statement said. “After a short distance, the park ranger fell off the SUV and onto the ground.”
Cates did a U-turn and aimed the SUV for the ranger.
“The park ranger, fearing for his life, fired several rounds at the male suspect,” the sheriff’s statement said.
Cates and Burke, both residents of Sierra Vista, Arizona, took off in the SUV.
According to California Highway Patrol Officer John Lutz, the CHP picked up the pursuit on southbound Interstate 5, following the stolen government SUV when it left the freeway at Sloan Canyon, then back into the southbound freeway at Lake Hughes Road.
The vehicle, with both suspects still inside and Cates driving, then got on State Route 126 and used the cross-valley connector to reach Sierra Highway, causing multiple collisions long the way. Cates continued to drive the vehicle, entering the southbound 14 Freeway and following the freeway to the southbound I-5 and the eastbound 210.
The vehicle was successfully stopped at the Roxford Avenue off-ramp, where both Cates and Burke were taken into custody.
The sheriff’s statement said the woman “was transported to a local hospital where she was treated for minor injuries, and later transported to Santa Clarita Valley Station for booking. The male suspect was transported to a local hospital where he is being treated for a gun shot wound to his upper torso. His condition is unknown at this time.”
Stolen SUV collided with vehicles on eastbound Golden Valley Road just west of Sierra Highway. Photos: SCVNews.com
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