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Deputies exchange fire with fleeing suspect in Santa Rosa; 4 deputies hurt, 1 critically; suspect dead

Santa Rosa police investigate deadly gun battle between suspect and deputies
Santa Rosa police investigate deadly gun battle between suspect and deputies 02:09

Four deputies were injured, one critically, in a shootout and chase early Monday morning with a suspect in Santa Rosa that ended with the suspect crashing and dying at the scene.

The Sonoma County Sheriff's Office said the shooting happened at about 12:10 a.m. in the area of Stony Point Road and Todd Road in unincorporated West Santa Rosa. Deputies had responded to a report of a person brandishing a rifle.

When deputies arrived, they found the suspect. Almost as soon as they spotted the suspect's car, authorities reported gunfire, though it remains unclear exactly who was shooting at that point. The suspect led deputies on a pursuit, during which the suspect stopped, fired shots at the deputies, and drove away again, the Sheriff's Office said. 

Deputies returned fire and the suspect fled again, driving over two miles before he crashed the vehicle he was driving into a fence. More gunfire erupted at the scene of the crash.

The suspect was pronounced dead at the scene, the Sheriff's Office said. Four deputies were hurt, one who was shot in the leg and another who suffered a head injury and was hospitalized in critical condition. Two other deputies suffered injuries to their hands.

It was a little after midnight when the sound of gunfire echoed through Tim Dimock's neighborhood on Stony Point Road. He knew it was something serious.

"We hear gun rounds here. It's not unusual. But to hear them repetitive like that, it was different," said Dimock. "It was more semi automatic. Bang bang bang bang bang bang! Like multiple rounds. And then return fire in the same rhythm. So you knew it was a gunfight."

Santa Rosa officer-involved shooting
Santa Rosa officer-involved shooting KPIX

The Sheriff's Office said it has invoked the critical incident protocol and the Santa Rosa Police Department was taking over the investigation. The office said officers' body-worn camera footage will be released in accordance with state law.

"Our investigators are still working to put together that timeline to determine how many shots exactly were fired by both the deputies and the suspect, and where those shots occurred," said Santa Rosa police Sgt. Patricia Seffens. "We are still investigating the exact cause of death. We are currently working on notifying the suspects next of kin."

People were urged to avoid Stony Point Road south of Bellevue Avenue to Todd Road. Todd Road between Stony Point Road and Moorland Avenue was also shut down. 

Santa Rosa police said at 2:55 p.m. Monday that Stony Points Road had reopened in both directions. Todd Road, between Moorland and Primrose avenues, remains closed indefinitely until further notice.

Wilson Walker contributed to this story.

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