Santa Rosa police shootout frightens and angers neighbors

SANTA ROSA, Calif. (KGO) -- Neighbors are shaken and angry after an early-morning police shootout at an armored car facility woke them up and sent a stray bullet flying through the window of a nearby townhome.

Police say it's the third robbery in seven years at the unmarked facility where substantial amounts of money are stored. Neighbors say they worry it won't be the last.

"Got woken up by about seven gunshots, just successionally, just pap pap pap pap pap," Joshua Sutliff said of the shooting that happened in full view of his home. "My wife grabbed the kids and got in the closet."

RELATED: Police investigate officer-involved shooting at Santa Rosa armored car facility

It happened just before 4 a.m., after two men with a handgun showed up at the GardaWorld armored car facility demanding cash.

An employee activated a hold-up alarm, and police arrived as the two men were leaving the building.

"The suspect raised the firearm toward the officer," said Santa Rosa Police Lt. John Cregan. "The officer was forced to fire multiple rounds at the suspect."

Police say the suspect was hit twice, and fled into the nearby creek bed, where he collapsed.

The officer is on paid administrative leave, and police say the wounded suspect is in stable condition after undergoing surgery to remove one of the two bullets that struck him.

Cregan said police found the second suspect hiding inside an open armored car, and arrested him without incident. But although the cops caught the bad guys, neighbors say it's not a victory for them.

"One of my neighbors got their window shot out last night and a bullet lodged in their TV set," said Linda Lambert, a lifelong Santa Rosa resident who's lived in this spot for over a decade.

Lambert's neighbor didn't feel like talking, but did let us inside to see the damage.

"It's just scary. Scary for my kids and everything," Sutliff said.

Police confirmed that in 2011 and 2012, the same robber hit the Garda facility twice. The first time, Monico Dominguez got away with a "substantial" amount of cash, police said. The second time, he got 32 years in prison.

Lambert said Dominguez parked his getaway car right by her house.

"Came back about 45 minutes later got in the car, and peeled out of here," she said.

Though the GardaWorld facility is part of a cluster of industrial buildings, those buildings are surrounded by homes. Lambert said she and her neighbors feel it's time for the facility to relocate.

"They need to be in an industrial area that's not residential. If this had happened during the daytime, who knows what (would) happen."
Copyright © 2021 KGO-TV. All Rights Reserved.