$10K reward offered to find SJ crime spree suspect

November 19, 2012 8:43:22 AM PST
San Jose police arrested a man Friday after a wild crime spree involving a high-speed chase and officer involved shooting. Now they say they plan on charging him with murder and that they're offering a big reward to find his partner in crime.

26-year-old Jonathan Wilbanks of San Jose is being held on suspicion of homicide, the attempted murder of a police officer, and armed robbery.

A small memorial in the parking lot of a 7-11 store on South Kiely Boulevard marks the area where a 22-year-old Rory Parkpettiford was shot to death during an attempted carjacking Friday night. Parkpettiford's girlfriend held a musical vigil in the parking lot Sunday night.

ABC7 News spoke to a woman who watched in terror as she says she saw one of two masked men shoot the man. She does not want to be identified, but said, "I saw the guys standing in front of the car and shooting, shooting just like that. One, two, there were three shots."

That was just one of the areas where the two men attempted a robbery. According to police the men went on a Friday night crime spree, robbing three other locations at gunpoint -- a Little Caesars on Story Road at about 7:40 p.m., a Jack in the Box on Curtner Avenue at 8:58 p.m., and a spa on the 1400 block of Bird Avenue at 9:01 p.m.

SJPD spokesman Sgt. Jason Dwyer says Wilbanks was one of two men in a car that a San Jose police officer had spotted a little after 9 p.m. that fit the description of the getaway car used in the robberies and carjacking attempt.

When the officer stopped several car lengths behind the suspects in intersection, Dwyer says both suspects jumped out of their car, approached the officer's car and started shooting as the officer ducked for cover inside his squad car.

The officer, a 10-year veteran of the department, was hit twice by bullets with what Dwyer described as "grazing wounds."

"He was trying to get down and get some cover," Dwyer said Saturday. "Rounds struck the windshield and the driver's side window. He's lucky to be alive."

A second officer, Bruce Barthelemy, pulled up in a separate police car, returning fire on the suspects.

At that point, the two suspects jumped back in their car and sped away, with police, including the wounded officer, despite his injuries, in pursuit.

Investigators have not said how many shots were exchanged by the suspects and officers, but said during the pursuit, the two suspects again opened fire. Dwyers says that during the chase, one of the suspects somehow got out of the car and escaped on foot.

The car chase came to an end when the Wilbanks crashed the car in a residential neighborhood.

He continued to try to escape capture by running into a house through a back door, but the residents ran out and told officers converging on the scene about the man in their home.

Wilbanks was taken into custody without incident. Upon his arrest, police discovered he has suffered two non-life threatening gunshot wounds.

As for the wounded officer, he was treated for his injuries at a local hospital and released.

He and the officer who returned fire during the stop have been placed on routine paid administrative leave while the incident is investigated.

Police were still looking for the second suspect.

Wilbanks was being held without bail. It was not known if he had retained an attorney.

Police are offering a $10,000 reward for the second suspect.

(The Associated Press contributed to this report)


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