A Northern California officer shot and injured a 32-year-old felon who was trying to pull up his pants while running away from police outside a home improvement store, authorities said Tuesday.
Officer Zachery Sandoval has been placed on paid administrative leave, a standard practice following police shootings, according to the Fairfield Police Department. Sandoval is a nine-year Fairfield police veteran.
Sandoval feared James Jarrard was reaching for his waistband for a weapon, so he fired shots at him and struck him once in the neck, police said.
“With no time to retreat or items of cover to protect him, the officer fired two shots from his duty pistol, striking Jarrard once in the right side of his neck,” the police department said.
No weapons were found, and Jarrard later told investigators he was reaching down to pull up his pants.
The police department’s Major Crimes Unit and investigators with the FBI’s Safe Streets Task Force have been interviewing witnesses and reviewing evidence to determine what led to the police shooting.
Authorities said it all started Monday with a witness who recognized Jarrard from media reports regarding the shooting of an 8-year-old boy who was shot in the neck in Concord, Calif.
Concord police identified Jarrard as the suspect and warned that he was armed and dangerous. An arrest warrant was issued for Jarrard for attempted murder.
The witness followed Jarrard to the parking lot of a Lowe’s store in the 3400 block of North Texas Street and provided police with a description of a vehicle. The vehicle was reported stolen from Walnut Creek.
Officers arrived at the parking lot to find Jarrard standing outside the vehicle, and they started to approach him.
Jarrard then ran away as officers ordered him to the stop.
While one officer chased him, two other officers drove through an alley to corner him.
But when Jarrard saw the police vehicles in the alley, he turned around and ran toward the two officers.
“Jarrard began reaching and grabbing at his waistband area as he ran directly toward the officers,” the police department said.
That’s when Sandoval shot Jarrard.
Police said Sandoval was “faced with a reported armed and dangerous felon now running toward him who was reaching into his waistband.”
Jarrard was taken to an area hospital, where he is in stable condition.
Once he is released from the hospital, Jarrard will be transported to the Solano County jail on suspicion of attempted murder, resisting arrest, violating parole and possession of a stolen car, methamphetamine and drug paraphernalia, police said.
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