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Search For Escaped Inmate Intensifies After Stockton Shootout

STOCKTON (CBS SF) -- Across Northern California Wednesday, law enforcement officers mounted a tense manhunt for escaped inmate John Bivins, who fled in a green 1999 Ford Explorer after a CHP officer fired shots at him.

Meanwhile, fellow escapee Tramel McClough was back in custody.

The pair had been arrested in February on suspicion of stealing $64,400 worth of cellphones and other merchandise from a Verizon store in Sunnyvale. According to police, the two men were wearing masks when they allegedly forced the store's employees to open the store's safe and then tied them up and locked them in a bathroom. One was armed with a handgun and the other with a knife.

They were at the Palo Alto courthouse for hearings last week, but were able to escape even though they were handcuffed and guarded by a sheriff's deputy.

Marquita Kirk and Rene Hunt were both arrested on suspicion of conspiracy and being an accessory after the fact for aiding in the brazen escape.

On Tuesday, the pair was spotted on I-5 near Stockton around 5 p.m. The CHP attempted a traffic stop, but the pair instead fled and a chase ensued.

Officers followed the car to a Walmart where McClough bailed out and was arrested. Meanwhile, Bivins took the wheel and fled.

Officers later cornered Bivins on Trinity Parkway. That's when gunfire erupted.


Witnesses captured the shots being fired on video as officers screamed at the man to stay down. Bivins didn't, and managed to get away.

SUV, Bivins, CHP Stockton
(Stockton CHP)

Meantime, investigators released a surveillance photo of Bivins taken at a convenience store along with a photo of an SUV. They say he may be driving a green, 1999 Ford Explorer with the license plates 7TYY505.

Bivins is described as a 5-foot, 9-inch, 180-pound black man with brown eyes and black hair.

Anyone who sees Bivins or the Explorer was advised to call 911 or the sheriff's office at (408) 808-3670. Do not approach him because he is considered armed and dangerous.

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