Crime

Auto theft suspect identified after officer-involved shooting

ORLAND, Calif. - Orland police have named the suspect they say stole a van and then tried to run over two officers Monday.

Keith Harris, 26, was released from the hospital Monday night after a confrontation with officers that began with a call about a vehicle theft. Nikki Zaragoza, 18, was also arrested as a result of the incident.

Police got the call around 2:15 p.m. about a man driving away in the victim's van. That happened on the 300 block of Swift Street.

Two officers responded and began to check alleys nearby. Chief J.C. Tolle said they found the stolen van in the alley behind Parkview Apartments on 5th Street.

When officers contacted the man inside, later named as Harris, they say he pulled pepper spray from his pocket and sprayed one of the officers in the face. The other officer stepped in and was also hit with the spray. One officer tried to use a stun gun, but it was unsuccessful.

Tolle said that's when Harris started the van and backed it into the patrol car. Unable to go anywhere, Tolle said Harris then drove the car towards the two officers. They responded by firing several shots into the van.

Harris was hit once in the chin. Tolle said it was a glancing blow and mostly did damage to his lip. The van hit another patrol car and then a garage.

Tolle said Harris ran away but was arrested nearby. Zaragoza, who Tolle said was in the van, was also arrested nearby after police say she tried to run during the incident.

Both officers were treated at the hospital for inhalation of pepper spray. They were placed on administrative leave after the shooting.

Harris was booked into the Glenn County Jail for obstructing or resisting an officer, grand theft auto, possession of a stolen vehicle, two counts of battery on an officer, and for possession of a controlled substance.

Zaragoza was arrested for obstructing an officer.

The Glenn County Sheriff's Office will handle the criminal investigation into the incident, and the Willows Police Department will conduct the internal investigation of the shooting.


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