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Officer Shot in Running Battle; 3 Suspects Held

October 07, 1987|LOUIS SAHAGUN | Times Staff Writer

Two bank robbery suspects were arrested in Upland on Tuesday after a running gun battle in city streets that left an officer critically wounded after being shot numerous times, authorities said. A third man was arrested several hours later in Gardena.

Officer John Carroll, 35, a five-year veteran of the Upland Police Department, was listed in critical condition at San Antonio Community Hospital, where he underwent surgery for gunshot wounds to the head, chest and one of his legs, authorities said. No one else was injured in the pursuit.

Authorities said four Southern California Edison Co. workers were credited with giving Carroll emergency care at the scene and later helping to hold one of the suspects at bay with a crowbar and a piece of steel used to support telephone lines.

"They were ready to clobber him if he got up," said Clark Burnett, the company's area manager. "We are real proud of our guys."

Arrested at the scene were Kenny L. Chambers, 35, and Lee Goins, 30, both of Los Angeles. The third suspect, Marcel Damon Williams, 18, escaped after the incident but was arrested in Gardena by Upland officers late Tuesday night without incident, Lt. Ken Steslcki said. All three were booked on suspicion of murder and robbery.

Chambers, police said, was a custodian at the Los Angeles Police Department's 77th Street Station.

The incident began when officers responded to a silent alarm from a Home Federal Savings branch on Euclid Avenue, authorities in the western San Bernardino County community said.

Carroll, the first officer at the scene, was wounded when he exchanged numerous shots with two gunmen fleeing on foot on Euclid, authorities said.

The Edison workers, who had been repairing power lines nearby, heard the shots, saw Carroll on the ground and used a short-wave radio in their truck to call for an ambulance, Burnett said.

One of them, Mike Peterson, 30, "tore off his shirt and wrapped it around the officer's head to stop the bleeding," Burnett said. Two others, including foreman Ray Cervantes, 27, stood guard over one suspect who had been forced to the ground nearby by another officer, he said.

That officer followed the second suspect and fired twice at him as he ran into a residence near the scene, authorities said. The suspect, who was not wounded, gave himself up a few minutes later. Inside the residence, which was not occupied at the time, investigators found at least one automatic handgun and money taken from the bank, authorities said.

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