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Police shoot and kill suspected carjacker in San Jose, investigation underway

San Jose police detectives are continuing their search for answers in the case of a carjacking that turned into a deadly police shooting.

The SJPD has taken the lead in an investigation that spans two cities. At the shooting scene, in the city’s Rose Garden neighborhood, some community members reflected on the loss of life.

Late Thursday, resident Glen Jones placed flowers at the scene where police shot and killed the carjacking suspect.

"A man who dies in any way like that, we feel for them. As a community. And specifically for the police officers," he said.

At the intersection of West Hedding Street & Park Ave. 6 p.m. Wednesday, was the violent conclusion to a carjacking pursuit.

"So, training always plays a huge part in any type of situation. The more you train, the more reactive you become," said Prof. Lisa Dadio, the director of the Advanced Center for Policing at the Univ. of New Haven.

Police investigators said the unidentified suspect initially stole a vehicle in East San Jose. He then drove to Santa Clara, where he allegedly attempted to carjack a second victim.

"He was unsuccessful with that attempted carjacking. But it was very apparent at that scene that he was armed with a gun. So we knew he was armed," SJPD Sgt. Christian Camarillo said Wednesday night.

Police said the suspect then sped south, back into San Jose, where he collided with two passengers in another vehicle at Hedding & Park. He got out, witnesses say with gun-in-hand, and allegedly opened fire at responding police officers.

"Obviously fearing for their lives, they were engaged by gunfire from the suspect, our officers on scene returned fire," said Camarillo.

Responding police officers shot the suspect, who was then rushed to a nearby hospital. He was pronounced dead a short time later.

"I’m amazed this didn’t happen (sooner). This is a big city. Everbody comes through here to get from point A to point B. I’m amazed this didn’t happen sooner," said 15-year-old San Jose resident Gavin Rust, who witnessed the crash.

Dadio said virtual reality training, and time spent at the gun range, helps officers hone their skills for this type of scenario. 

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"It helps prepare you. And then you can kind of go through in your brain, talking yourself down, calming yourself down. And trying to stop the threat," she said.

San Jose Police Chief Anthony Mata will hold a news briefing Friday, and will provide more information about the crime, and the actions of his officers.

The two people in the vehicle that was hit here suffered minor and moderate injuries.