ANAHEIM : Burglary Suspect Shot by Officer
A man suspected of breaking into a market was shot and wounded by a policeman Thursday after allegedly attacking the officer with a screwdriver.
Gilbert Lopez, 19, was listed in fair condition Thursday afternoon after undergoing surgery at UCI Medical Center in Orange for a bullet wound in his back.
The officer was not injured, Anaheim Police Sgt. Chet Barry said.
Police were investigating a false alarm at a Target store in the 1800 block of West Lincoln Avenue at about 4 a.m. Thursday when two people ran up to the squad car and alerted officers to a burglary in progress at a food store a block away.
Arriving at the market, the officers spotted a car speeding away with two young men inside, Barry said.
The police car chased the suspects two blocks to Euclid Avenue and the Santa Ana Freeway, where the driver of the suspects’ car lost control and the automobile rolled over, landing on its roof. After the car skidded to a stop, the suspects climbed out and began running.
One of the officers chased Lopez to North Manchester Avenue, an industrial area bordering the Santa Ana Freeway. After cornering him at 300 N. Manchester, the officer pulled out his handgun and ordered Lopez to surrender, but the suspect turned and lunged at the officer with a screwdriver, Barry said. The two were struggling when the officer shot the suspect at point-blank range, Barry said.
Lopez’s 16-year-old companion was found by officers a short time later, hiding in a commercial storage area, Barry said. Food and other items were found in the overturned car, which was later determined to have been stolen from an Anaheim resident. No firearms were found on the suspects or in the car, Barry said.
Lopez and the 16-year-old, whose name was withheld because of his age, were arrested on suspicion of burglary, auto theft and evading a police officer, Barry said.
The Orange County district attorney’s office is investigating the shooting, the 16th this year involving a uniformed peace officer in Orange County.