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Old May 22, 2006, 06:08 PM   #1
Harley Quinn
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Here is some tactics for you, Police shooting.

Shooting and tactics Hollywood scene.

One dead, officer injured in Natomas shootout
By Christina Jewett -- Bee Staff Writer
Published 2:33 pm PDT Monday, May 22, 2006

An injured Sacramento police officer is attended to by other officers after robbery suspects tried to run him down with their car in the parking lot at the Natomas Marketplace shopping center on Monday.
Special to The Sacramento Bee/ Devin Bruce

A Sacramento Police officer shot and killed a man while clinging to the hood of the man's car Monday afternoon in the parking lot of
the Natomas Marketplace shopping center, Sgt. Terrell Marshall said.

Just before 1 p.m., officers received a call of an armed robbery near San Juan Road and Northgate Boulevard. The officer who responded was directed to the Natomas Marketplace on Truxel Road just north of Interstate 80.

Marshall said the officer approached a maroon car in the parking lot, but the driver accelerated, breaking the officer's leg and flinging him onto the hood of the car. The officer, whose name was not yet released Monday afternoon, then fired several times into the car, Marshall said, killing one man inside.
Police took a second man from the car into custody; a third is believed to be at large, Marshall said.

"This is in fact a scene out of Hollywood," Sacramento Police Chief Albert Najera said.

The officer who broke his leg in the shooting was taken to UC Davis Medical Center. Najera called his actions heroic.

Police shut down the shopping center while they investigated the shooting. Federal parole officers in the area helped to capture some of the suspects, Marshall said.

Sacramento police officers secure the scene of an officer-involved shooting while suspect's vehicle sits at right with bullet holes in the windshield at the Natomas Marketplace shopping center on Monday. Obscured from view in this photo, the body of one of the suspects is in the driver's seat.
Special to The Sacramento Bee/ Devin Bruce

The windshield of the suspects' car is left riddled with bullet holes after they tried to run down a Sacramento police officer. One suspect is dead, others were taken into custody.
Sacramento Bee/Randy Pench


Last edited by Harley Quinn; May 23, 2006 at 08:52 AM. Reason: Additional information
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Old May 22, 2006, 06:49 PM   #2
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It's too bad the officer was injured, I wish him a speedy recovery. Way to have the right mind set to win the fight.
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Old May 23, 2006, 08:51 AM   #3
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More information

Here is some more on the story today.

A carload of armed robbery suspects plowed into a Sacramento police officer Monday in a crowded Natomas shopping center, injuring the officer, who managed to cling to the hood while firing shots at the windshield that killed the driver, police said.
Moments later, the car crashed into a palm tree outside In-N-Out Burger, near the exit of Natomas Marketplace shortly after 1 p.m., in a surreal scene witnessed by dozens of shoppers and diners. Three dazed suspects were taken into custody as the driver's body remained in the car.

Sacramento police Monday night continued to investigate what led to the shooting at the Truxel Road center, while lauding the officer's actions to thwart further violence at the bustling commercial center.

Police declined to name the officer or any of the four robbery suspects, including the man who was killed. But a source familiar with the investigation identified the officer as Kevin Howland. He was listed in stable condition at UC Davis Medical Center with a swollen knee.
Police were called to Natomas Marketplace, off Interstate 80, where they found an older-model maroon Plymouth reportedly involved in an earlier armed robbery less than two miles away at Northgate Boulevard and San Juan Road, said Sgt. Terrell Marshall.

In that robbery, the victim, who was not injured, said he was confronted by two men who were armed with pistols, Marshall said. The victim called police, describing the car and saying the robbers were likely heading to the shopping complex.

Moments later, the officer spotted a car matching the description parked in front of the Wal-Mart across the parking lot from On the Border Mexican Cafe. He pulled his patrol car near the vehicle, and when he walked over, the suspects abruptly backed up, ramming the rear of his cruiser, police said.

The car then lurched forward, throwing the officer onto the hood as the car swerved across the parking lot.

"In fear, obviously for his life, he fired several rounds from his service weapon," Marshall said.

Photos show eight bullet holes in the windshield, believed fired from the officer's gun. Police said they are investigating whether the suspects returned fire.

The crackle of gunfire shook Kim Johnson, who had just parked her minivan packed with relatives visiting from Oregon at On the Border Mexican Cafe.

"Then I saw the red car flying with bullet holes, and the cop was limping through the lot, holding his gun," the Citrus Heights woman said. "My fear was for my parents and nieces."

The car then crashed into a palm tree near the parking lot exit.

Johnson said a bloodied passenger emerged from the car and started to pace behind their van. A woman in a white tank top stood next to the car with her hands in the air. As police swooped in to make the arrests, they found another injured male passenger.

The driver's body remained in the wrecked car throughout the afternoon.

At In-N-Out Burger, Hiroko Goto dove under a picnic table a few yards from where the car had crashed.

"It didn't feel scary, because it just seems so unreal," she said. "It's like 'CSI: New York,' or something like that."

Roberto Pareja and his 15-year-old son, Daniel, had just finished their burgers and fries. They were walking to their car when the incident unfolded.

They said they watched as it happened, seemingly in slow motion: They heard the gunshots, then screeching tires and then the officer flailing about on the hood of the car.

The younger Pareja started to duck near his dad after catching a glimpse of the officer steadying his gun and firing through the windshield -- over and over, he said, as the car swerved.

The officer was then tossed off, and the car careened out of the Wal-Mart parking lot. It slowed as it approached a row of freshly planted palm trees less than 30 yards from where the Parejas stood.

"I just said, 'Oh Lord, please protect me now,' " the teenager said.

"It was unreal," his father said, separated from his car by rows of police tape. "I never expected to see anything like this before."

A few witnesses, including Johnson, said they saw pistols drawn from a separate vehicle, a white car near the maroon car. But Monday night, police could not confirm whether another vehicle was involved in the robbery or what unfolded thereafter.

"We're still looking at that," Marshall said, noting that police were reviewing stores' surveillance footage. "At this point, we don't believe it to be, but we can't rule that out."

Hours after the shooting, ribbons of police tape crisscrossed Wal-Mart's sprawling parking lot and the islands of Natomas Marketplace.

Kershawn Hardy and Angel Strong had just finished their meal at On the Border and then stepped into the crime scene.

"We are just trying to enjoy our lunch," Strong said.

About the writers:
The Bee's Crystal Carreon can be reached at (916) 321-1203 or [email protected]. Bee staff writer M.S. Enkoji contributed to this report.

The windshield of a car is riddled with holes from shots fired by a Sacramento police officer who was clinging to the hood after being struck by the vehicle carrying armed robbery suspects. The driver was killed.
Sacramento Bee/Randy Pench

The injured officer was identified as Kevin Howland by a source familiar with the case.
Special to The Sacramento Bee/Devin Bruce

Sacramento police secure the scene of a fatal shooting Monday at Natomas Marketplace. At left is the maroon Plymouth reportedly used earlier in an armed robbery two miles away.

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Old May 23, 2006, 11:55 AM   #4
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The nerve of these robbers! In front of an In-and-Out Burger no less.

Just goes to show you - there is still bravery and heroism left in this cynical world. Speedy recovery to the officer involved.
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Old May 24, 2006, 09:06 AM   #5
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Last of the series

More information

How Natomas drama unfolded.

Bus-stop robbery to fatal gunfire
By Crystal Carreon and Christina Jewett -- Bee Staff Writers
Published 12:01 am PDT Wednesday, May 24, 2006
Story appeared on Page A17 of The Bee

Monday's incident at Natomas Marketplace ended with the suspect's bullet-riddled vehicle crashed into a palm tree and the driver dead.
Sacramento Bee/Randy Pench

See additional images

"When does the bus get here?" The teenage boy recalled a young man asking him at a bus stop about a mile from the Natomas Marketplace on Monday afternoon.
"Ten minutes."

It began simply -- the encounter at the bus stop -- but it soon set in motion a sequence of events that ultimately escalated into a deadly officer-involved shooting before a crowd of shoppers and diners.

On Tuesday, as Sacramento police continued to investigate what seemed to some like a scene out of Hollywood movie, the boy grappled with his brief encounter at Truxel and San Juan roads and his role in the events that followed.

The boy, whose parents asked that his name be withheld out of concerns for his safety, said a young man "with a sad face" sat down next to him on the bench. He then asked about the bus's arrival time. He seemed nervous, the boy said.
The man then pulled up his shirt, revealing a gun.

"He said: 'Give me everything you have on,' " the boy recalled, before turning over his new $170 Air Jordans, his iPod, his shirt, his hat, his watch.

Another man then emerged from a maroon car parked nearby. He demanded the boy's wallet.

The robbers then disappeared as the car drove off.

A report of a burgundy or maroon-colored car sought in an armed robbery was soon broadcast over the police radio.

Sacramento Police Officer Kevin Howland, a five-year veteran with a reputation for catching the bad guys, was in pursuit.

"I believe Howland followed the … car into the Natomas Marketplace," said Sgt. Chris Taylor. "The officers were just keeping their eyes open."

The car then stopped in the parking lot outside Wal-Mart. As Howland approached, the car abruptly rammed the officer's cruiser and lurched forward, throwing Howland onto the hood, according to police.

From there, witnesses said, they saw the officer clinging to the hood with one hand while opening fire with the other.

He was tossed off and later treated in a hospital for a severely bruised leg.

Photographs show eight bullet holes in the windshield.

The car slowed and crashed into a palm tree outside a nearby In-N-Out Burger eatery.

Its driver, 19-year-old Eugene Timothy Gallegos, was pronounced dead at the scene.

Three passengers in the car -- a 16-year-old boy, who was seated next to Gallegos, an 18-year-old woman and 19-year-old Saul Rabago, who were both in the back seat -- were questioned by police.

Rabago, who was initially arrested on suspicion of robbery, is scheduled to be arraigned this afternoon in Sacramento Superior Court. He was being held Tuesday on $25,000 bond.

The woman, whose name was not made public, was released Monday night. Her role in the incident, Taylor said, remained under investigation.

The status of the juvenile, who neighbors said had just been released from a Boys Ranch, was not clear Tuesday night.

Taylor said investigators had found a replica, or realistic-looking, "toy gun" in the car along with items linking the suspect to the robbery, but declined to elaborate.

At the North Sacramento home Gallegos shared with his siblings and grandmother, a steady stream of friends and relatives Tuesday filed through the front door.

Rosie Aldana, who had helped rear her grandson, said she didn't believe he was solely responsible for veering the car into the officer on Monday.

She said he was likely prodded by those in the car to "go, go, go" and succumbed to the pressure.

"That was out of character for him," Aldana said, surrounded by family, "That's why it's so hard to take this."

Late Monday, relatives told Aldana they had seen newscasts of the maroon Chrysler that Gallegos bought three weeks ago now riddled with bullets.

Gina Gallegos, who nicknamed her brother "Chitho" when he was a toddler, said Gallegos had a good heart and took care of the family, but at times kept bad company.

"He hung around with some of the wrong people," she said.

Tuesday afternoon, as the family grieved, Gallegos' father, Eugene T. Gallegos, 40, was arrested on unrelated charges.

Monday night, members of the police gang unit searched Gallegos' home. Family members on Tuesday said he was not a gang member but acknowledged some of his acquaintances were.

Police were continuing to investigate any gang ties among those in the maroon car, and detectives were reviewing surveillance footage while Howland recovered at home.

The officer will be on administrative leave for at least a week.

"He certainly never wanted this to happen," Taylor said.

"He's a very smart guy, and is very passionate about police work," Taylor said of Howland. "I am confident he will be OK; you just need time to process."

On Tuesday night, Marisol Rabago said she planned to see her brother in jail to prepare for his court appearance.

Her brother just turned 19, she said, and recently made a commitment to his family that he would try to change for the better.

"Two weeks ago, he said, 'Give me 25 days,' " Marisol Rabago recalled. "He got a job and was starting to come back to family events, dinners; we started to believe."

But when he got paid Friday, the family said he slipped out of sight. They last saw him Saturday night, before spotting him on the news Monday evening.

"He's not a bad kid," Marisol Rabago said. "He was just at the wrong place, with the wrong people.

"If he was in his right state of mind," she said, "he would not have done the things he was doing."

Across town, at the dining room table of his tidy Natomas home, the boy who was confronted at the bus stop continued to absorb his role in the events that unfolded.

"I was thinking, 'Oh my God, I could have died,' " he said. "I just get scared thinking what could have happened."


About the writer:
The Bee's Crystal Carreon can be reached at (916) 321-1203 or [email protected].
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Old May 24, 2006, 01:05 PM   #6
Don Gwinn
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Apparently these kids were worse than the sum of their parts. I guess that shouldn't surprise me.
Don Gwinn: Chicago Gun Rights Examiner
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Old May 25, 2006, 10:43 AM   #7
Harley Quinn
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Here is an eye wit to the whole thing.

More of this bazzare story.

Hallie Boatright, 18, right, weeps Wednesday while recalling the incident at Natomas Marketplace on Monday in which her friend, Eugene Gallegos, 19, was shot by a Sacramento police officer who was on the hood of the car they were riding in. With her are James Perez, Gallegos' cousin, and Michelle Andrade, Gallegos' mother.
Sacramento Bee/Randy Pench

Hallie Boatright dived down in the back seat, threw her arms over her head and closed her eyes as the car careened in a Wal-Mart parking lot. When she looked up, there was a Sacramento police officer clinging to the hood, firing his weapon through the windshield.
"'Let's go! Let's go. Let's go!" Boatright said she heard one of the passengers yell from the back seat to the driver, over the sound of shattering glass and gunfire.

The Chrysler then crashed into a palm tree near the entrance of Natomas Marketplace on Monday, marking the end of a frenetic police shooting in which the 19-year-old driver, Eugene Gallegos, was killed and the beginning of questions that continued Wednesday from Boatright and members of Gallegos' family.

Boatright, 18, who was released from police custody early Tuesday and has not been charged, said she was simply offered a ride Monday from Gallegos, whom she knew as "Chitho" and had met the night before through friends.
Boatright retold the chronology of events surrounding the shooting during an impromptu press conference at the south Sacramento home of Gallegos' aunt, where relatives also questioned the officer's actions.

Sacramento Police Sgt. Chris Taylor could not comment on each detail of Boatright's account of her car ride with three others. He said police and district attorney's officials are sorting through the facts of the case in part of an investigation into the officer-involved shooting.

"If it was my son, I could not imagine how I would be thinking or reacting," he said.

Also Wednesday, another passenger, Saul Rabago, 19, was arraigned in Sacramento Superior Court on felony charges of robbery and receiving stolen property in connection with the robbery of a teenage boy at Truxel and San Juan roads minutes before the incident at the shopping center.

Rabago remained in the Main Jail without bail.

Jose Angel Gallardo III, 16, is expected to face similar charges when he is arraigned today. The Bee is naming him because he is being prosecuted as an adult.

Gallardo remained hospitalized at UC Davis Medical Center on Wednesday. He had been shot in the left wrist, according to his aunt and legal guardian, Mary Lou Valdez.

On Monday morning, Boat- right did not know what would unfold when she got into Gallegos' car. She said she was hoping to pick up her 3-year-old son at her mother's house, about a 15-minute drive from her North Highlands apartment. But someone inside Gallegos' car wanted to take a trip to the Wal-Mart in Natomas Marketplace.

Inside the car, Boatright said, she recognized Rabago, who was in the front passenger seat; Gallardo was in the back, seated behind Gallegos.

The carload of friends stopped for gas and picked up burgers at McDonald's on Northgate Boulevard, parked and ate in the car.

When they resumed their trip to Wal-Mart, Boatright said, Gallardo spotted the teenager at a bus stop and prodded Gallegos to "check out this kid and see what he has."

Gallegos turned around the car and parked. Gallardo got out, grabbed a replica "toy gun," Boatright said, adding that she chastised him, saying what he was about to do was "stupid." Then, she said, Rabago followed.

After they returned to the car, Gallardo told Gallegos that they should stop at a school or a store. Boatright said she told them she just wanted to go home.

They continued toward Wal-Mart on Truxel Road and drove past a police patrol car near the entrance and parked a few yards from another cruiser in front of the store.

Officer Kevin Howland's car, Boatright said, parked near Gallegos' Chrysler.

" 'You guys robbed anybody?'" Boatright said Howland asked them, before asking if there were any weapons in the car.

From the back seat, Boatright said, Gallardo began telling Gallegos to get them out of there.

" 'Let's go. Let's go. Let's go. Let's go,' "Boatright recalled Gallardo saying.

Gallegos paused: "Should I?"

"I said, 'No,'" Boatright said. "I thought they were kidding at first."

Then, she said, the car went in reverse, striking the rear passenger side of Howland's parked patrol car.

The impact, police said, moved the cruiser a few feet across the parking lot.

She then saw the officer position himself near his car, his gun drawn.

"We were trying to avoid hitting the cop, which is why we hit the cop car," Boatright said. "Nobody said to hit the cop."

All of a sudden, Howland was on the hood, and Boatright said she could not explain how he got there, as she hunkered down and closed her eyes when the car was hit with gunshots.

Gallegos' relatives on Wednesday said they believed the officer hopped onto the car, and they could not understand why he had to fire eight rounds through the windshield.

Taylor said the driver tried to kill the officer.

"Kevin is alive because he had the presence of mind to respond," Taylor said. "He would have been sandwiched between that car and the squad car."

Boatright said the police officer then disappeared from view as the car careened out of the parking lot.

" 'Let's go. Let's go. Let's go,'" Boatman said Gallardo yelled.

"'I'm trying,'" Gallegos apparently said just before the car rammed into the palm tree.

"They could have killed me; I have a 3-year-old son at home," Boatright said Wednesday, sobbing. "All I wanted to do was get home and see my son."

The Coronor's Office ruled that Gallegos' cause of death was gunshot wounds to the chest and right arm.

After hours of questioning at the Sacramento police headquarters, Boatright was given a cab voucher and told she was free to go shortly after 1 a.m. Tuesday.

"I said, thank God," Boatright said.

On Wednesday, Valdez said she was trying to see Gallardo but had not had the chance to speak with him.

She said Gallardo was released three weeks ago from Boys Ranch, a Sacramento County facility for repeat juvenile offenders.

Valdez said she last saw her nephew Friday and asked Gallegos, who lived next door, to find him and bring him home.

She had no reservations about Gallardo's fate.

"What he did was wrong; let him pay the price," Valdez said. "I just want to tell him, 'I'm physically and mentally there for you, and I love you."

On Wednesday, members of the Gallegos family went to look at caskets before attending an evening candlelight vigil at Natomas Marketplace.

Saul Rabago, 19, was arraigned in a Sacramento court on felony counts of robbery and receiving stolen property in connection with the robbery of a teen at Truxel and San Juan roads before Monday's incident.
Sacramento Bee/Michael A. Jones

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Old May 25, 2006, 10:51 AM   #8
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Mark another one for the good guys.

Does the police force have something akin to the Purple Heart? He deserves it!
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Old May 25, 2006, 11:01 AM   #9
Harley Quinn
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Trip my thoughts also

I was just mentioning what one man with a gun can do, for the good or bad or ugly of it. Justice scored one, on that day.

Now the sad part is all this talk and some lawyer will use it to get them off because they won't be able to get a fair trial. :barf:

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Old May 25, 2006, 11:31 AM   #10
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Harley -- I hope you didn't take my post as being sarcastic. Sounds like you may have. I think the officer was brave and certainly could have lost his life in the encounter.

I'm glad you posted the story.
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Old May 25, 2006, 04:00 PM   #11
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I did not take in sacasticly. I just think with all the publicity, and the press showing as much as they are it will be a tough court battle.
Probably won't be tried in the area it happened is all I ment.

I think the guy did a great job. It is amazing that girl hit the floor behind the driver and did not get hit. Lucky Lady.

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