Calif. officer shoots man during traffic stop confrontation

By Will Bigham
Inland Valley Daily Bulletin

POMONA — A Pomona police officer shot and wounded a man Monday morning during a confrontation that followed the officer's discovery that the man was in possession of a stolen car. Photo Gallery: Pomona Police Involved Shooting and Manhunt

The wounded man was airlifted to Los Angeles County-USC Medical Center, and was listed Monday afternoon in guarded condition — a medical designation between critical and stable, according to a hospital spokeswoman.

At about 10:10 a.m., Pomona police received a tip from a resident in the 600 block of North Gordon Street that two men in the alley between Gordon and Main Street were selling DVDs and TVs out of the back of their car, Los Angeles County Sheriff's Lt. Gil Carrillo said.

When the officer arrived, he ordered the men out of the car and had them stand nearby as he called in the vehicle's license plate number, a routine check to determine whether a car is listed as stolen or if any outstanding warrants are connected to its owner.

When the call came back over the officer's radio that the car was stolen, the two men overheard the announcement.

One man ran off, and there was a "confrontation" between the other man and the officer, Carrillo said.

Details of the confrontation were not released, but the encounter ended in the officer shooting the man. Carrillo was not sure if the wounded man was armed.

Police did not release the name of the officer nor the name of the man who was shot.

With the aid of the department's K-9 unit, Pomona police conducted a nearly four-hour door-to-door search for the man who ran away. The search came up empty, and he remains at large.

The Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department is conducting the investigation into the officer-involved shooting, Carrillo said. Such shootings typically are investigated by separate police agencies.

The stolen car, a maroon 1988 Toyota Camry, was reported stolen Feb. 13, according to DMV records.

At about 2:30 p.m., investigators continued to scour the shooting area for evidence. The stolen vehicle remained in the alley, along with a pile of bloody clothes on the ground nearby.

Jerahmy Maples, whose apartment on the 200 block of West Pearl Street is next to the alley where the shooting took place, said of the alley: "People walk back and forth through here all day."

Groups of young men, Maples said, congregate in the alley — "doing what they do," he said, including smoking marijuana.

"We take our trash out in the alley all the time," said Frank Montoya, who lives in an apartment on Gordon, with the alley right behind the complex.

Montoya said he didn't hear the shooting and only realized something was wrong when, while he was watching TV, "All of a sudden someone knocked down my door."

It was Pomona police officers, who with handguns drawn conducted an extensive search of Montoya's apartment. They later retuned with dogs during their door-to-door search for the suspect, Montoya said.

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