Militia member fires shots while pursuing car theft suspect

COTTONWOOD, Calif. - A car crash and shooting in Cottonwood have Shasta County sheriff's deputies searching for a car theft suspect.

They're looking for the driver of a stolen Toyota 4-Runner that crashed into a fence around 8:30 p.m. Monday at 3416 Frances Street in Cottonwood.  Witnesses said the SUV was pursued by a yellow Hummer, whose driver jumped out of his vehicle and fired several shots.   The cars were reportedly traveling at speeds of 65-70 mph through a residential neighborhood.

The Shasta County Sheriff's Office responded to the scene.  They said the man who fired the shots is Jim Haagenson, a member of the California State Militia-Cottonwood Citizen's Group.  Haagenson told deputies he had been pursuing the vehicle because he knew it was stolen.  Deputies said Haagenson chased the driver after the crash, and fired into the ground 3-5 times while ordering the suspect to stop walking towards him.  The suspect then ran off.
A witness at the scene told KRCR News Channel 7 he was concerned about seeing a man randomly firing in a residential neighborhood, without identifying himself.   The witness said Haagenson told him after the shooting he was a former parole officer.

Deputies detained Haagenson at the scene to ask him about the shooting.  He was not arrested.  They are still looking for the driver of the stolen SUV.

He's described as a Hispanic man, 5'8", with dark hair, wearing a black shirt and black pants.  He was last seen in the 3400 block of Frances Street in Cottonwood.

Deputies determined the SUV had been stolen Monday morning.  They said Haagenson was legally carrying a handgun per his concealed weapons permit.

Check back with or tune into KRCR News Channel 7 for more information on this developing story.

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