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On March 19 at about 6 p.m., an auto-theft suspect led Escondido police officers on a chase in which gunfire struck four police cars and the car of a passerby.

According to a press release, as a patrol officer attempted to question the driver in the 500 block of Rose Street, the driver fled and fired multiple rounds at police cars and a sheriff’s helicopter that pursued him on southbound Bear Valley Parkway.

At Bear Valley Parkway and Craigmore Avenue, the suspect fired at a K-9 vehicle, damaging the front bumper and front tire. One bullet entered the windshield and went through an officer’s shirt, nearly grazing the officer. The suspect’s bullets missed an officer who was deploying spike strips and struck a citizen’s car.

The suspect then entered the parking lot of the On the Border restaurant at the Westfield North County mall, where he was taken into custody without incident. No officers were injured or fired their weapons.

The suspect was booked into Vista Detention Facility on charges of attempted homicide, possession of stolen property, felony evading, shooting at an occupied aircraft, and auto theft.

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