Female suspect killed in Merced officer-involved shooting

MERCED, Calif.

The first call came in just before 8 p.m. on Friday. Someone outside the Food Center on Martin Luther King Way told police he was robbed at gunpoint. He described the suspects as an African-American man and a Caucasian woman with blond hair who was driving a silver Ford Mustang.

At 1:23 a.m. on Saturday, police got another call from another victim. This person told officers he was also robbed by similar looking thieves. "He had been robbed by people in a silver Ford Mustang and as the officer was standing there he saw the car driving by. He alerted other officers," said Capt. Tim Trindad.

The car pulled over initially and then sped away. After a short chase investigators told Action News it crashed onto a curb on V Street.

"Two individuals, the white female and a black male adult exited the car. They started to run from the vehicle. As officers were attempting to apprehend that vehicle they heard a gunshot and they are assuming it's a possibility the female had actually fired," added Trindad.

The woman ran into a nearby alleyway. Officers were trying to set up a perimeter when they say she pointed a gun at one of them who was still sitting in his patrol car. "He was confronted immediately by that person pointing that gun at him. The officer was in fear of his personal safety of his life and that of the life of other officers and had to discharge his firearm," said Trindad.

A second officer chasing her also fired at the woman. Matt Valdez was awake at home across the street from the shooting. He heard shouting and then rapid gunfire. "I am really happy it was at night and the early morning hours when everybody was asleep and nobody got hurt," said Valdez.

The two officers involved are now on paid administrative leave. Police also arrested 24-year-old Nathen Jones who they have connected to at least one of those armed robberies. Investigators are still looking to speak with any witnesses or any victims who may have been targeted by the pair in the past.

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