McFarland officers shoot alleged car theif during chase

McFarland officers shoot alleged car theif during chase »Play Video
Authorities investigate Monday, July 23, 2012, at the scene of a reported shooting involving a McFarland police officer on High Street in Delano.
DELANO, Calif. (KBAK/KBFX) — McFarland officers shot a fleeing vehicle theft suspect in Delano, the department said Monday night.

The shooting occurred around 11:25 a.m. on the 900 block of High Street following a 25-minute high-speed chase that put officers and the public at risk, McFarland police said.

Officers set up observation at an alleged chop shop on East Elmo Highway as part of a nearly monthlong investigation into auto burglaries. Several suspects got in cars and left the alleged chop shop, so officers pursued and tried pulling them over.

Two of the vehicles stopped, and the occupants ran into the nearby orchards, police said. The driver of a Nissan pickup failed to stop and led both McFarland police and California Highway Patrol officers on a chase.

During the chase, the pickup's driver, later identified as Randy Ferreira, crashed through a pair of roadway barricades and allegedly tried to crash into patrol cars and civilian vehicles. The chase reached 70 mph on city streets.

The chase ended about 9 miles to the north, on High Street in Delano. Ferreira ditched the pickup and started running on foot until he was shot, police said.

Ferreira was treated at the scene and taken to a hospital. Police didn't say where he was wounded or how many rounds were fired, but witnesses told Eyewitness News they heard three shots.

The officers involved in the shooting were placed on routine administrative leave while the shooting is investigated. Their names were withheld.