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Veteran Manteca officer involved in fatal shooting
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The two officers who fired their weapons pursuit of a fleeing felon that pointed a weapon toward officers Tuesday in Ripon were Manteca officer Armen Avakian and Stockton officer Stephens.
Manteca Police Sgt. Jodie Estarziau noted that the felon — Angel Alan Gleason, 36, of Modesto — also had an outstanding $250,000 warrant for grand theft out of San Bernardino in Southern California. He was also reportedly on felony probation in Stanislaus County for possession of controlled substances and had a lengthy criminal history as well, she said.
Detectives from the San Joaquin County Delta Regional Auto Theft Task Force – Delta RATT – were conducting a search warrant in Manteca when officers observed a silver BMW in the 1300 block of East North Street speed away.   Detectives attempted a traffic stop on the vehicle as the suspect attempted to elude them, Estarziau said.
At one point during the subsequent pursuit the BMW stopped suddenly and a female subject jumped out of the car.  The BMW then continued onto southbound Highway 99, soon reaching the Jack Tone Road off ramp in Ripon striking a vehicle, causing it to roll down the embankment.
The BMW was disabled by the crash. The suspect fled on foot with a firearm in his hand, Estarziau said, adding that the suspect pointed his weapon multiple times at one of the Delta RATT detectives and a Manteca motorcycle officer.  The motorcycle officer reacted by laying his motorcycle down on the roadway, fearing for his life and that of other officers.
The officers fired their duty weapons and struck the fleeing suspect.  Life-saving measures were immediately performed by officers on the scene.  The suspect was transported to an area hospital where he was pronounced dead.  The weapon the suspect used was a .22 caliber semi-automatic hand gun which had been reported stolen out of Merced. He also allegedly had crystal methamphetamine in his possession, police noted.
The investigation revealed the BMW had not been reported stolen and additional DMV checks into the vehicle’s record showed that its license plate was registered to a Ford and not a BMW as they had noted earlier.
The officers involved in the shooting were veterans of their departments.  Avakian has 25 years of service and Stephens has logged some eight years.