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Suspect in Merced Co. deputy shooting leads officers on pursuit in north SLO County

Posted at 11:51 AM, Sep 05, 2019
and last updated 2019-09-06 00:45:57-04

UPDATE (7:50 p.m.) - Authorities used spike strips to stop a driver who led authorities on a pursuit from Paso Robles to Fresno County on Thursday.

Police say Guadalupe Lopez-Herrera, 51, was spotted in the City of Paso Robles at about 11:10 a.m. after a Blue Alert was issued.

Lopez-Herrera was wanted in connection with the shooting of a Merced County Sheriff's deputy. The deputy was reportedly shot in the chest and the leg while responding to a domestic disturbance near the community of Dos Palos on Wednesday.

Authorities said Lopez-Herrera carjacked a pickup truck and they suspected he was headed to Paso Robles because of connections he has in the area.

Police say when officers spotted the carjacked vehicle, they tried to initiate a traffic stop but Lopez-Herrera sped off. They pursued the vehicle eastbound on Highway 46. California Highway Patrol officers also joined in on the pursuit, which continued onto Highway 41 and Interstate 5.

Police say the chase reached speeds in excess of 120 miles per hour and, at one point, went through a winery off Highway 46.

After about 45 minutes, the chase ended in the Coalinga area after officers successfully deployed a spike strip, disabling the vehicle.

Merced County Sheriff Vernon Warnke said Lopez-Herrera fired a round at a CHP officer before being taken into custody, but no one was hurt.

Warnke said Lopez-Herrera will face an attempted homicide charge for the shooting of the deputy. He is likely to face additional charges related to the carjacking, pursuit, and attempted shooting of the CHP officer.

The sheriff says the Merced County deputy who was shot will make a full recovery and is expected to be out of work for just a few days. He was reportedly wearing a bullet proof vest.

UPDATE (12:55 p.m.) - The suspect was reportedly taken into custody in the Coalinga area.

(11:51 a.m.) - A man suspected in the shooting of a Merced County deputy was spotted in the Paso Robles area Thursday morning and led authorities on a pursuit.

Guadalupe Lopez-Herrera, 51, of Dos Palos is wanted in connection with the shooting.

He was last seen driving a white 2013 GMC Sierra crew cab pickup.

A Blue Alert was issued for Lopez-Herrera and he was reportedly spotted at around 11 a.m.

Officers from the Paso Robles Police Department and California Highway Patrol began pursuing the suspect who headed eastbound on Highway 46. At the 'Y' intersection, the suspect reportedly took Highway 41 and continued out of the county, then took Interstate 5 north.

The Merced County deputy involved in the shooting is expected to survive. He was reportedly shot in the chest while responding to a domestic disturbance near the community of Dos Palos on Wednesday.