McFarland police give shooting play-by-play

McFarland police give shooting play-by-play »Play Video
Authorities investigate Monday, July 23, 2012, at the scene of a shooting involving McFarland police officers on High Street in Delano.
McFARLAND, Calif. (KBAK/KBFX) - A couple of weeks ago, the city of McFarland experienced a rash of car thefts. McFarland's police chief said his department started investigating immediately, and, when they found the suspects outside of Delano, a pursuit began.

Monday, a 25-minute chase involving McFarland police, the California Highway Patrol and a suspected car thief, Randy Ferreira, ended in gunfire at the intersection of 9th and High streets in Delano.

McFarland Police Chief Gregory Herrington said Thursday that at some point during the chase, the suspect ditched the stolen car, jumped into another car and reached down for something on the floorboard.

Herrington said that's when Officer Alberto Carillo ordered the suspect out of the car.

"And suddenly he decided to turn, and when he turned, Officer Carillo fired one shot, fearing for his life, because he didn't know what he had in his hands," said Herrington.

According to police, Carillo's shots missed the suspect, who kept running.

The department said Sgt. Mike Webber was on the other side of the chase, heard the gunshots and then saw the suspect running from a CHP officer who was covered in blood.

"He did not know who was shot, he did not know anything that had occurred over there other than hearing shots," said Herrington of Webber.

Herrington went on to explain how the suspect was shot by Webber, saying, "All of a sudden, he quickly turned towards Sgt. Webber, and with Sgt. Webber believed his life was in danger and returned fire."

Police said the suspect did not have a weapon.

Eyewitness News went to the intersection where the suspect was shot. One witness, who did not want to be identified, said the suspect had his hands in the air surrendering. Herrington said that was not the case and that the Ferreira's injuries are consistent with the fact that his hands were down.

The official investigation is still ongoing, while officers Carillo and Webber remain on paid administrative leave.

Asked if their absence will hurt their small department, the chief said, "We have enough officers to definitely cover the city, and we haven't fallen off as far as our shift coverage at all."

The witness Eyewitness News spoke with said they haven't been interviewed by police.

Webber has been an officer with MPD since its inception in 2010. Carillo has been on the force for about six months.