MARTINEZ, Calif. (BCN) - A wanted suspect was shot and killed by a Contra Costa County Sheriff’s deputy on Wednesday in unincorporated Martinez, after sheriff's officials say the suspect tried to shoot the deputy in the head.
Contra Costa County Sheriff’s Office Spokesman Jimmy Lee said the incident happened at 9:33 a.m. on Adelaide Drive near Pacheco Boulevard.
Two deputies had just finished responding to another call and were leaving the area when one deputy recognized a man with an outstanding warrant, according to Lee.
The deputy chased after the suspect and tried to “physically control” the man who kept reaching into his waistband and ignored multiple commands to show his hands.
“With the suspect pulling a gun from the waistband, the suspect fired one shot toward the deputy’s head,” Lee said.
The deputy opened fire and killed the man who had an outstanding warrant for evading and resisting arrest from another county.
Lee did not identify the man, but said he was a 41-year-old resident of Discovery Bay, a known member of several gangs in Contra Costa County, and was known to law enforcement officers for multiple crimes.
Angelica Jorgensen identified her boyfriend as the man killed by the sheriff’s deputy. She said his name was Paul Ridgeway.
Jorgensen said although he had spent most of his life in prison, he was trying to turn his life around and had recently started publishing children’s books. She claims he did not fire first at the deputy, but that he returned fire after he was shot twice. She said she watched it happen.
Ridgeway had a no-bail warrant for evading and resisting arrest in another county and also had multiple prior contacts with law enforcement for assault, theft and weapon and drug offenses, according to the sheriff's office.
“The list includes drug possession, numerous counts of assault with a deadly weapon, felon in possession of a firearm, possession of a stolen vehicle, parole violations. It’s a fairly long list,” Lee said.
Several witnesses told KTVU they heard multiple gunshots and deputies surrounded the area within minutes of the shooting. Rob Sadegh, who works at a nearby mechanic shop, said he went outside to see what happened.
“I thought it was fireworks at first to be honest,” Sadegh said of the gunshots. “Then I thought to myself, there’s no way that’s fireworks. I walked outside heard the lady screaming.”
Sadegh said he also saw a man lying face-first on the street. His business and others were temporarily hindered by the closure of Pacheco Blvd. Mike Razabi, owner of Bay Smog, said he heard the shots too and was curious to know what happened.
“It’s very safe,” Razabi said. “This is the first time in 20 years something like this has happened.”
The deputy who fired his weapon has been placed on paid, administrative leave. As per the county’s protocol, the Contra Costa County Sheriff’s Office and the district attorney’s office are each investigating the incident.
This is at least the second officer-involved shooting in the Bay Area on Wednesday.
In Napa, police shot and killed a man just before 2 a.m. following a 911 domestic violence call, the Police Chief Robert Plummer said.
Officers were responding to a 911 call about a man assaulting a woman and that he had a gun near Soscol and Lincoln avenues.
When officers arrived, the man took off prompting a foot chase, Plummer said, through a wooded, ravine area behind an apartment complex. A physical fight broke out between the man and officers, Plummer said. "At some point, shots were fired," Plummer said, and the man was pronounced dead on the scene.