MADERA COUNTY — One man is dead and two others are in custody following a reported carjacking that ended with a chase through the orchards in the Madera Ranchos area this afternoon.
Just before 2 p.m., CHP officers and Sheriff’s deputies responded to reports that three Hispanic males had held a motorist at gunpoint near Avenue 15 at Highway 41, and then stole their car.
Two of the suspects fled on foot but were detained by citizens until CHP officers arrived and took them into custody, according to the Sheriff’s Office. The third left in the stolen vehicle.
About 30 minutes later, reports came in of a motor vehicle accident involving the stolen car. The third suspect, who was reportedly driving the vehicle, fled on foot from the crash scene, and led officers — aided from above by a helicopter — on a pursuit.
At 3 p.m., a Madera County Sheriff’s Reserve deputy reported the man was in the area of Avenue 12 and Highway 41, covered with dirt. The suspect then led officers on a chase through orchards and fields near Avenue 12 and Road 38. There were reports during the chase that the man was armed.
Details are not available at this time on exactly what happened next, but at some point one of the CHP officers involved in the chase felt his life was in danger and shot the suspect. This happened in a field near the Branch and Vine Event Venue on Avenue 12, where a party was underway.
Though officers and firefighters performed CPR as they waited for the air ambulance to arrive, the man succumbed to his injures and was pronounced deceased at the scene.
The Madera County Sheriff’s Office is investigating the incident.