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Drive-by shooting + wild chase = 2 arrests

70-mile chase starts in Lathrop, ends in central Manteca

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Drive-by shooting + wild chase = 2 arrests

Manteca High graduate and licensed cosmetologist Kara Adams, 22, said she lost everything with her car being totaled in the high speed pursuit and her lacking insurance coverage. She said she had ...

GLENN KAHL/The Bulletin


POSTED August 25, 2012 2:05 a.m.

Two men went to jail Friday following a drive-by shooting in Lathrop and a subsequent police chase that ended with a collision an hour later in central Manteca.

A young Manteca woman had her immediate hopes dashed when the suspects’ fleeing red Silverado pickup truck that was being chased by a trail of black and white police vehicles crashed into her westbound ‘90s Nissan at the intersection of North and Main streets at about 9 a.m.

Kara Adams, 22, said she had just recently completed her two-year course at a Stockton Cosmetology school and received her certification and license.  She was looking for a job when her car was totaled.  She is currently employed at the Office Max store in Manteca.

A 2010 graduate of Manteca High School, she had used her vehicle not only for herself, but to transport parents to their jobs and to pick up a 3-year-old nephew from his preschool every afternoon.

The some 70-mile long police pursuit began about 8 a.m. in the 3100 block of West Yosemite Avenue in Lathrop when a patrolling deputy was alerted to a drive-by shooting at a residence in the area.

The patrolman gave chase up Harland Road in Lathrop through neighborhoods by Joseph Widmer Elementary School on Stonebridge Avenue.  Children were arriving for the day, according to one mother.  The pursuit then continued back onto the I-5 freeway in the northbound lanes.

Deputies called off the pursuit for public safety concerns and temporarily lost the fleeing vehicle.  A  California Highway Patrol officer spotted the truck and again took up the pursuit as the CHP helicopter responded to the area of the chase.

The CHP officers pursued the vehicle to Alpine Avenue and then to Benjamin Holt Drive in North Stockton and back south towards the 120 Bypass with the suspects continually attempting to lose the officers by exiting and reentering the freeway using on and off ramps.  Police said the duo was later seen throwing ammunition out of the vehicle during the pursuit.

The Silverado led officers onto the 120 Bypass and west to McArthur Boulevard on Interstate 205 in Tracy at speeds exceeding 100 miles per hour where the men reversed course and headed back toward Manteca averting spike strips that had been placed on Interstate 580.  

The vehicle reportedly exited the freeway at Lathrop Road and went through several neighborhoods around Airport Way and Union Road finally heading toward Manteca going southbound on North Main Street where the crash with the west bound Manteca woman occurred as the driver drove through a red light using the left turn lane.

While the Manteca driver complained of minor back pain, there were no serious injuries that police reported.

The suspect driver stayed with the truck after the crash and was ordered out of the vehicle at gunpoint by officers in the high risk stop.  Witnesses noted that the truck’s passenger ran west on North Street from the crash scene,  going behind the Presbyterian Church on the corner and running south through the alley.  He was then seen cutting across Main Street about a block from the crash scene.

Officers from the Sheriff’s Department, the Manteca Police Department and CHP motorcycle officers converged on the scene and located the 22-year-old suspect on the second story of an apartment complex in the 300 block of North Lincoln Avenue behind a single story home.  The Manteca Fire Department responded to provide a ladder for officers to get the suspect down off of the roof.

Sheriff’s officers ordered him to stand on the roof with his hands on his head as Manteca officers trained automatic weapons on the suspect from alley locations – not knowing if he was still armed.  A semi-automatic hand gun and a knife were believed to have been involved. He followed directions of the police and descended the ladder cautiously and was taken into custody by deputies without further incident.

Both men are being held in the San Joaquin County Jail without bail awaiting their court date on Tuesday at 1:30 p.m. in the Manteca Branch of the San Joaquin County Jail.

Driver of the pickup truck was Morri Lawrence Mitchell, 40, who is charged with four felonies and one misdemeanor for obstructing officers.  The felony charges include discharging a weapon with gross negligence, conspiracy to commit a crime and receiving stolen property.  He was also being held for violation of his state parole.

Sukhbir Singh, 22, had been wanted on a “no bail” warrant for a commercial burglary and for credit card theft.  He was also charged with five felonies involved with the drive-by shooting and the resulting chase by officers.  Felony charges included possession of ammunition, conspiracy to commit a crime, discharge of a weapon with gross negligence and receiving known stolen property.

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