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Santa Ana Police Shoot Carjacking Suspect in Home

April 07, 2002|JACK LEONARD | TIMES STAFF WRITER

A suspected carjacker was shot and wounded by police late Saturday after he opened fire on heavily armed officers trying to flush him from his mother's Santa Ana home, authorities said.

After 11 hours of trying to coax Manuel Arenas into surrendering, police said they decided about 8:30 p.m. to fire tear gas into the home to force him out.

Minutes later, Arenas opened fire at Special Weapons and Tactics team officers surrounding the home, said Santa Ana Police Sgt. Baltazar De La Riva. The officers shot back, striking Arenas at least once in the upper torso, he said.

De La Riva said Arenas was taken to UCI Medical Center in Orange, where officials said he was in critical condition. No officers were injured.

Police were summoned to the home early Saturday by Arenas' mother, De La Riva said. The woman told police that her son, a parolee, had arrived in a 2000 Toyota Camry she had never seen before. Police checked the license plate and discovered it had been taken at gunpoint a few days earlier in the city.

About 9:30 a.m., officers arrived at the home in the 1600 block of South Townsend Street, and saw the car in the driveway. A group of men were near the vehicle, but fled into the home's garage as police approached, De La Riva said.

Police evacuated neighboring homes and after a short time persuaded all of the home's occupants, except Arenas and his 9-year-old nephew, to leave. The sergeant said Arenas repeatedly refused to let the boy leave the house, but relented at 6:15 p.m.

Officers continued to urge Arenas to leave the home, calling him on the telephone and using a bullhorn, but he refused to surrender, De La Riva said.

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