Car chase ends in man's fatal shooting

A Brookings man was fatally shot Friday afternoon in a confrontation with officers from the Del Norte County Sheriff's Office on the Hiouchi Bridge just west of the junction of U.S. highways 199 and 197.

A chase of a reckless vehicle on winding Highway 199 ended with a deputy shooting Bobby Eric Jones, 28, twice in the torso, killing him, and shooting Jones' dog, which was ordered to attack officers, Del Norte District Attorney Mike Riese said.

The chase began at 1 p.m. after several callers reported a 1998 Ford Ranger pickup with Oregon license plates driving recklessly between Hiouchi and Gasquet, Riese said.

Callers reported that the driver, Jones, had run a stoplight at a construction zone and raced through a one-lane segment.

He refused to stop and flipped the deputy off during the chase, Riese said.

A spike-strip set up on Highway 199 before Myrtle Creek Bridge to stop the truck blew out the front right tire and rear right tire of the truck, but the deflated tires did not stop the driver.

"He still did not yield until he lost control at the (Hiouchi) bridge," Riese said.

The careening truck narrowly missed a motorcyclist stopped at the side of the road.

Riese said after the truck came to a stop, the driver ran onto the bridge toward other officers arriving on the scene. He shouted to two pit bulls in the truck to attack, and one did, charging toward an officer who had just arrived to provide backup, Riese said.

The first deputy on the scene, who had his gun drawn, fired, hitting the dog twice, Riese said.

The dog retreated, but Jones yelled an expletive and charged officers himself. The deputy, who wasn't identified Monday, shot him twice. Jones died at the scene. The dog survived and was treated by a Crescent City veterinarian, Riese said.

Riese's office is now investigating the shooting and must determine whether it was justified. He said three of his investigators are conducting interviews and analyzing evidence collected by the California Highway Patrol, which assisted with the investigation and reconstruction of the scene.

The sheriff's office will conduct its own internal investigation, he said.

Mail Tribune reporter Anita Burke contributed to this story.

Adam Madison is a reporter for The Daily Triplicate in Crescent City, Calif.

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