ESCONDIDO (CNS) - Authorities released the name Monday of a patrolman who shot and wounded an auto-theft suspect who allegedly accelerated a car toward the officer at a North County strip mall.
Escondido police Officer Russell Gay opened fire on Michael Joshua Flores, 27, in a commercial area near the intersection of Interstate 15 and State Route 78 late last month. Flores has since recovered from several gunshot wounds and has been booked on more than a half-dozen criminal charges.
The events that led to the shooting began shortly after 10 p.m. Oct. 29, when the suspect's ex-girlfriend reported that he had stolen her car, Lt. Craig Carter said.
The woman followed Flores to a shopping center in the 100 block of West El Norte Parkway and pointed out her vehicle to Gay.
As the officer approached the sedan, Flores allegedly put it in reverse and backed up directly toward him, prompting Gay to open fire. Medics took the wounded suspect to a hospital, where he was admitted in stable condition.
Gay, an 11-year veteran of the Escondido Police Department, was uninjured.
Flores, an Escondido resident, faces charges of auto theft, domestic battery, violating a restraining order, assault with a deadly weapon, resisting police and other counts. He is being held in county jail on $125,000 bail pending his next court hearing, scheduled for Thursday morning.
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