HESPERIA, Calif. (VVNG.com) The San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department released the name of the suspect killed in the officer-involved shooting that occurred outside Walmart Wednesday morning.
James Gleason, 24 of Phelan, the driver of a stolen vehicle was struck by officer gunfire after attempting to accelerate towards a deputy. Gleason was pronounced dead at a local hospital, the deputy was not injured.
Sheriff’s officials said on Wednesday, May 31, 2017, at approximately 7:00 a.m. two officers assigned to the San Bernardino County Auto Theft Task Force (SANCATT) were investigating a stolen vehicle when they observed a crime occurring in the Walmart parking lot.
At approximately 8:00 a.m. the two officers, from Fontana Police Department and California Highway Patrol, observed three suspects attempting to steal a vehicle.
The officers approached the suspect vehicle and used their unmarked vehicles to block in the suspects and prevent them from driving away.
“The suspect driver accelerated, nearly striking one of the officers and an officer-involved shooting occurred. The vehicle then crashed into one of the unmarked vehicles,” Sheriff’s officials said.
The front passenger, Alexander Herd, 31 of Phelan, was struck by gunfire and transported to Arrowhead Regional Medical Center where he was treated, released and later booked for burglary, authorities said.
The third suspect, Austin Banuelos, 22 of Phelan, was not injured and was booked at High Desert Detention Center for receiving stolen property, authorities said.
Sheriff’s Department Specialized Investigation Division – Homicide Detail is conducting the investigation.
Investigators determined the vehicle that the suspects were driving was reported stolen early Wednesday morning from a residence in the Victorville area.
This investigation in ongoing and anyone with information regarding this investigation is urged to contact the Specialized Investigation Division, Detective Chuck Phillips at (909) 387-3589 or WE Tip at 1-800-78-CRIME (27463) or you may leave information on the We-Tip Hotline at www.wetip.com.