Santa Maria police released audio and video recordings of’ interactions with an alleged carjacking suspect who was shot and wounded by an officer in mid-December.
At 5:30 p.m. Dec. 15, police received a call about a carjacking suspect who stole a woman’s vehicle at gunpoint on the 200 block of East McElhaney Avenue and fled.
A patrol officer spotted the vehicle near the intersection of Cook Street and College Drive and attempted to conduct a traffic stop, but the driver failed to yield to police.
The car struck another vehicle, causing significant damage to the front left tire.
“Nonetheless, the driver continued to try to elude police. A short distance away, the man hit a second vehicle as it crashed at the corner of Cook and Railroad,” the narrator said.
Patrol vehicle camera video and audio captured the pursuit.
“Pretty heavily damaged on the driver’s side. It’s not gonna last too long,” the officer said, before announcing a traffic collision.
After the crash, the officer noted the driver holding a gun to his head. The driver climbed through the car’s window with the gun still pointed at his head.
“When he lowered the weapon from his head, an officer-involved shooting occurred,” the narrator said.
The wounded suspect still armed with the weapon fled toward a business in the 500 block of South Railroad Avenue.
“At a nearby business the suspect put a handgun to the neck of an employee, but the employee disarmed him,” the narrator said. “The victim then ran out of the business while the suspect attempted to hide inside the building.”
Officers surrounded the building and arrested the man after he crawled out of the business and complied with instructions.
Police provided medical aid to the suspect, identified as 24-year-old Francisco Solano Gomez.
He underwent surgery at a local hospital and was released two days later, police said.
The weapon recovered at the scene was later determined to be a pellet gun.
Police identified the officer who shot the suspect as Mason Jackson, a nine-year veteran.
Criminal and administrative investigations into the incident remain ongoing, police said.
“The Santa Maria Police Department remains committed to transparency. After carefully evaluating any effect the release may have on the integrity of the investigation and the degree of community interest in the incident, we have created a critical incident community briefing video to share with our community members,” department leaders said in releasing the video Friday.
English and Spanish versions of the video have been posted to the department’s social media channels, with caution about the content.
Gomez has been charged in Santa Barbara County Superior Court with felony carjacking and assault with a deadly weapon with force likely to cause great bodily injury.
The case is scheduled to return to Judge Von Deroian’s courtroom on Feb. 15.
He remains in custody of the Santa Barbara County Jail with bail set at $110,000.