Armed suspect in officer-involved shooting in downtown Fresno identified

Crime

Michael Sanchez, 29 (Courtesy of Fresno Police)

FRESNO, Calif. (KSEE/KGPE) — Authorities have identified the suspect who they say fired at police with a shotgun Tuesday while trying to flee the scene of a crash near downtown Fresno.

He was arrested after officers say they and a witness returned fire, injuring him before he was tackled by another witness, according to the Fresno Police Department.

An officer saw a vehicle driving at a high rate of speed at around 5:30 p.m. and tried to stop it, said Sgt. Jeff La Blue. The vehicle instead drove quickly away and crashed in the area of E. Grant Avenue and N. Valeria Street.

Armed suspect arrested after shots fired by officers and a passer-by (Fresno Police)

Both the driver and passenger exited the vehicle and officers saw the driver was armed with a shotgun with a cut-off stock.

Officers said the suspect, later identified as Michael Sanchez, 29, started firing rounds at them, forcing the officers to return fire while the suspect attempted to flee on foot.

A witness who was legally armed also fired at the suspect, who then fell to the ground and quickly got back up. Sanchez then ran to a nearby apartment complex where he attempted to force entry and was then tackled by another witness, allowing officers to make an arrest, police said.

“Right now we’re incredibly lucky that no officer was hurt and no citizen was hurt,” said Capt. Joey Alvarez.

The suspect suffered a gunshot wound and was described by police as being in a stable condition at an area hospital.

Sanchez was arrested on charges of attempted murder on a police officer and felon in possession of a firearm, La Blue said. He is also a gang member.

The second person in the vehicle, identified as Luis Longinos, 40, was found later in the evening by officers at the residence the suspect vehicle was registered to.

He was questioned and released based on his statement and other evidence, La Blue said.

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