FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) --An anonymous tip has led law enforcement to one of the most wanted men in Tulare County. When officers confronted him on the second floor of the Super Eight Motel in Lindsay they said, he reached for a loaded gun-- so they shot him once.
Randall Ver Steeg, 39, has multiple warrants out for his arrest in Tulare and Fresno Counties, and authorities said he was armed and dangerous and wouldn't go down without a fight.
Customers at Country Waffles were caught by surprise after the officer involved shooting at the hotel next door. Before she knew it, store manager Diana Austin saw officers in swat gear swarming outside.
"We had an officer run in with a big gun telling us to get down and to go in the back room."
They waited it out there, and eventually closed the restaurant for the day due to a temporary road closure.
As Porterville police began their investigation into a shooting involving a Tulare County Sheriff's Deputy and Ver Steeg. An anonymous tip led law enforcement to Ver Steeg, one of Tulare County's top ten most wanted criminals. They confronted him on the second floor breezeway of the Super Eight Hotel, where the sheriff said he was hiding. Officers told him to show his hands and get on the ground.
"Mr. Ver Steeg refused to comply with those orders, where he was reaching for a loaded .357 weapon which was in his waistband. One shot was fired and struck Mr. Ver Steeg into the upper torso area," said Mike Boudreaux, Tulare County Sheriff.
Ver Steeg has multiple warrants for his arrest in Tulare County and Selma for burglary and weapons charges, and is also wanted by Visalia police and the California Highway Patrol team that investigates auto theft. The sheriff said he's known to be armed and dangerous, and believes his deputy showed control and good judgment in his actions.
"Obviously this officer felt threat to his life and took the action necessary. Mr. Ver Steeg, he's the one who created this situation by reaching for a weapon," said Boudreaux.
Now the Sheriff's Office said just months ago, Ver Steeg tried to escape from a hospital while in custody. The sheriff said he has two deputies guarding him at the hospital.