STOCKTON (CBS13) — Stockton Police are looking for at least two people who detectives say targeted officers as they attempted to make traffic stops near downtown.
It happened Monday night, just a few feet away from the entrance of a hospital and its causing concern for people who live and work nearby.
“Where the shots fired at you?” asked a police officer, while another responded, “They hit our car.”
Stockton Police Chief Eric Jones says the shooting of officers near downtown happened within minutes.
“He might have just fired another one at me. Yup, he’s firing,” said one of the officers.
Over the police radio, you can hear two officers talking to each other and in the background, shots being fired.
“If these assailants will open fire on uniformed police officers in a black and white patrol car with blue and red lights, they are capable of just about anything in this community. So, we are very concerned,” said Jones.
The officers attempted to pull over a vehicle after the driver ran a stop sign. There were at least two people in the car, and investigators say at least one of the men didn’t hesitate to start shooting.
“Immediately, an occupant of that suspect car opened up fire, gunfire on our patrol cars, striking it at least twice. Once, in the windshield, once on the passenger door. Also, striking a nearby stop sign,” said Jones.
Soon after, another officer spotted the car just a few blocks away on Center Street, and again a suspect in the vehicle began shooting. Justin Jones works nearby and can’t believe the shooting happened so close to his business.
“I believe that they definitely had something that they didn’t want the cops to see in the car so, they thought the better option was to kill the officers and get away. I don’t think that was the right option. I don’t think cops should be shot at even though the tensions are high with police officers,” said Justin Jones.
We’re told officers did not return fire because both times, the suspects didn’t give them a chance to step out of their patrol cars. Investigators say the suspects were last seen driving southbound on I-5.
“It definitely concerns me just because anyone with a gun can be dangerous if they are not properly trained. Plus, if they shot at trained officers, what’s stopping them from shooting at civilians?” he said.
Detectives are following several leads and are asking the public if they saw or heard anything to report it to crime stoppers.