ESCONDIDO, Calif. (NewsNation Now) — A California police department is investigating after a seemingly random shooting led to a police chase and shootout.
“We were driving and he shot up the car,” a 911 caller told dispatch. “We don’t know him. He shot the car and he shot … my sisters’ boyfriend in the back.”
The shooting happened last month near a Walmart in Escondido, a city north of San Diego.
“We truly believe that they’re an innocent party,” Escondido police Chief Ed Varso said on Dan Abrams Live. “There was nothing that led up or motivated the shooting to begin with.”
The victim was driven to a hospital and released a short time later. Fortunately, the passenger. who called 911, got the license plate number of the shooter’s vehicle.
“Without the license plate number, we would probably have nothing more than a vague description of a white SUV or a white Mercedes maybe, which then quickly becomes a needle in the haystack kind of scenario for us,” Varso said.
Officer Chandler Hoppal found the white Mercedes SUV near the owner’s home. The suspect, Jonathan Carroll, allegedly then led the officer on a chase topping 100 mph before crashing his car,
Police say Carroll got out of the vehicle with a gun in his hand. Hoppal then fired 12 rounds, with Carroll shooting twice, according to police.
The chase and shootout were captured on body camera video.
Carroll was pronounced dead at a hospital. Police say he used a “ghost gun.” Investigators also found another unregulated gun, a semi-automatic rifle and a bag full of ammo in his car.
Hoppal was not injured and was placed on administrative leave pending an investigation, as is standard.
Abrams, whose news show premiered on NewsNation Now last month, said he will regularly highlight police work and some of the incredible — and dangerous — situations officers deal with every day.
Watch “Dan Abrams Live” weeknights at 8/7c on NewsNation.