Suspect fatally shot after firing at police

February 28, 2011 6:41:43 PM PST
San Mateo police fatally shot a man after he opened fire Monday morning on officers who were attempting to negotiate with the man, San Mateo Police Chief Susan Manheimer said at a press conference Monday evening.

The man, who police said they believe was 35-year-old Robert Caron, had allegedly brandished a gun and threatened employees at a San Mateo pharmacy before running through backyards and darting in and out of his Oak Street home where the shooting occurred, Manheimer said.

Officers received a report at about 10:30 a.m. from employees at the CVS Pharmacy at 77 Bovet Road of an "irrational subject acting aggressively toward customers and staff," Manheimer said.

Employees told police that the suspect fled on foot, and Manheimer said responding officers began an extensive check of the surrounding area.

According to witness reports to police, the suspect displayed a handgun and threatened an employee with his handgun.

During their search, police received a second call from a neighbor on nearby Edinburgh Street who reported a man creating a disturbance on the back porch of an adjacent property, Manheimer said.

Using information culled from the pharmacy employees and this second report, police determined the suspect had fled to Oak Street and retrained their search efforts, Manheimer said.

Officers attempted to negotiate with the man, who Manheimer said displayed a handgun while standing in the front yard of the Oak Street home that police later determined was the man's residence.

The suspect fired on officers, who then returned fire as he fled to the backyard, Manheimer said.

One officer then encountered the man and fired a single shot, Manheimer said.

The suspect was pronounced dead at the scene.

Manheimer said police recovered a .38-caliber Smith & Wesson revolver from the scene.

Caron has an "extensive history of threats against police officers," Manheimer said.

A three-pronged investigation of the officer-involved shooting will be conducted, Manheimer said, along with a criminal investigation into the man's actions at the store and his alleged endangerment to the community.

The San Mateo Police Department will also conduct an internal investigation of the appropriateness of the use of force by officers, Manheimer said.

"It is always tragic when an armed encounter results in any death, and our condolences go out to the family of that suspect," Manheimer said at the press conference.

No officers were inured in the shooting.

Other agencies responded to the scene, including the Belmont Police Department, San Mateo County District Attorney's office, San Mateo County crime lab and the San Mateo County coroner's office.

Jack Horgan, 90, who lives next door to the man who was shot, described him as someone with "mental problems," but no apparent disability that would impair him from performing normal activities.

The coroner's office said Monday that the man's identity is not expected to be released until Tuesday morning.

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