Chase and shooting on busy Fresno streets

FRESNO, Calif.

Investigators say the men fired shots while a sheriff's deputy chased them up First St. -- between Princeton and Dakota.

The chase continued for another mile from there, and ended on Cedar just south of Ashlan where the deputy also opened fire.

Fresno police are investigating the incident since it happened within city limits, even though a sheriff's deputy initiated the chase right near the Mayfair county island.

The two suspects lost the car chase, but they still weren't quite ready to give up.

One suspect left in a police car, tracked down after a foot chase through this central Fresno neighborhood.

The second suspect left in an ambulance, his leg run over by a sheriff's deputy's car when he tried to bail out of this car seconds after it went airborne into a fence.

Investigators say a deputy had tried to stop the stolen vehicle early Monday morning, but the car didn't stop and the chase became dangerous.

"The driver of the vehicle as well as the passenger started shooting at the deputy sheriff as the pursuit went on through the streets of Fresno," said Sheriff Margaret Mims.

Deputies don't believe the gunshots hit anybody, but police combed the streets for the shells afterwards.

They kept several busy streets shut down as they collected evidence, even blocking off one side of Birney Elementary School.

Investigators believe the suspects threw their guns out of the car sometime during the chase, but their other actions are hard to explain.

"We don't know the motive of the suspects," said Capt. Al Maroney of the Fresno Police Department, whose investigators took over the scene. "We have no reason of why they would open fire on the deputies."

The deputy fired back as the suspects tried to run from the scene of their final crash, but like the suspects, he apparently hit nothing more solid than a wooden fence.

The deputy did catch one of the suspects, though.

A CHP officer caught the other one as neighbors looked on.

One witness told Action News the entire incident was fast and frightening.

"I heard the screech and crash and that's when I noticed the car crash," said Carla Bishop. "The guy got out of the car and started running and I heard gunshots."

Police aren't releasing the names of the suspects yet because the investigation is still open.

One of them was in the hospital Monday evening. The other was in jail.

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