PALMDALE – A shirtless man was taken into custody after he allegedly carjacked a man at gunpoint in east Palmdale and then led deputies on a wild chase while firing at them, authorities said.
The suspect was arrested near 20th Street East and Palmdale Boulevard after he crashed a stolen 2012 Chevy Camaro into a curb and was boxed in by deputies. The carjacking was reported around 11:30 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 8, at an apartment complex in the 38200 block of 20th Street East.
The victim spoke to reporters at the scene but asked to remain anonymous. He said he was at the apartment complex’s entrance gate when a man jumped over the wall, pressed a gun against his cheek and ordered him out of the vehicle. The gunman rammed a gate as he was fleeing the scene in the vehicle, according to the victim.
“I heard two shots fired,” the victim said, adding that he was not sure if the gunman was firing at him or firing into the air.
Responding deputies spotted the stolen Camaro near Avenue Q and 17th Street East, according to a Palmdale Sheriff’s Station crime broadcast.
“A short pursuit ensued between the suspect and our deputies,” said sheriff’s Sgt. Marc Mrakich. “During the pursuit the suspect fired several rounds at the deputies but did not hit anyone.”
Mrakich said the deputies did not return fire.
The victim said he witnessed a portion of the police pursuit.
“As I was making the report with the officer, [the suspect] actually came back my way while being chased by police and fired another shot,” the victim said.
The police chase ended near 20th Street East and Palmdale Boulevard, according to Lt. Frank Quichocho of the Palmdale Sheriff’s Station.
“As the vehicle went northbound on 20th Street East, right before Palmdale Boulevard, the vehicle was disabled and crashed into the northwest corner of Palmdale Boulevard and 20th Street East, at which time deputies approached the vehicle,” Quichocho said. The suspect was initially uncooperative, but he eventually gave up and was taken into custody, according to the lieutenant.
“The suspect was not injured and deputies were not injured as a result of the take down,” Lt. Quichocho said.
The suspect’s name was not immediately released Wednesday morning. The incident was being handled by the Operation Safe Streets gang unit, said Lt. Johnson of the Palmdale Sheriff’s Station.
The intersection at 20th Street East and Palmdale Boulevard was closed until approximately 5 a.m. Wednesday to allow for the investigation, sheriff’s officials said.
[City News Service contributed to this report.]
UPDATE: SUSPECT NAMED, INCIDENT APPEARS GANG-RELATED
In a news release issued by LASD Wednesday evening, the suspect was identified as 20-year-old Jose Felix Palacios of Palmdale, a known gang member. As deputies initiated a vehicle pursuit, Palacios allegedly “fired gunshots at a couple of people standing in front of their residence,” the news release states. The news release did not address whether or not Palacios fired at pursuing deputies. Read the news release below:
On Tuesday, September 8, 2015, at approximately 11:30 p.m., Palmdale Sheriff’s Station deputies responded to an emergent, 9-1-1 call of a carjacking at gunpoint that had just occurred in the 38000 block of 20th Street East, Palmdale.
As deputies responded, a second, emergent call of an assault with a deadly weapon (gun) at the intersection of Glenbush Avenue and East Avenue Q-4, Palmdale, was received. The suspect vehicle description of both calls were very similar: a yellow, Chevrolet Camaro coupe.
Deputies quickly spotted the suspect speeding south on 20th Street East and Avenue Q-11 in a yellow, Chevrolet Camaro coupe and, as they initiated a vehicle pursuit, the suspect fired gunshots at a couple of people standing in front of their residence.
In an active attempt to stop the armed suspect from harming innocent bystanders through his erratic and dangerous driving of a stolen vehicle within the community, deputy personnel rammed the vehicle.
Deputies repeatedly gave several verbal commands to gain the compliance of the suspect, however the suspect refused to cooperate. Instead, the suspect quickly accelerated the vehicle forward onto the sidewalk, before reversing it onto the street. It was at this time that the deputies were forced to ram the suspect vehicle from behind, successfully boxing it in, pinning it against the sidewalk.
Deputies continued to repeatedly order the suspect to stop and to exit the vehicle, but the suspect refused. Less than lethal weapons were deployed toward the vehicle, at which time, the suspect surrendered.
The suspect was not injured, however he was transported to a local hospital for medical clearance for booking.
Deputies were treated for minor injuries.
The victim of the carjacking and the two victims of the assault with a deadly weapon were not injured.
A loaded semi-automatic pistol was recovered inside the vehicle.
The suspect, 20-year-old Jose Felix Palacios, a male Hispanic and resident of Palmdale, is a known gang member. He faces charges of shooting at an occupied vehicle, robbery, and carjacking. He was booked at Palmdale Station and is being held in lieu of $310,000 bail.
The incident appears to be gang related.
Anyone with information about this incident is encouraged to contact the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department Palmdale Station, Operation Safe Streets Detective Delia at (661) 272-2400