ECPD Respond to 2nd Shooting in 2 Days

Witness Comes to Aid of Knife-Wielding Car Thief, Shoots at Suspect.

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EL CENTRO — A shooting overnight in an El Centro neighborhood appeared to be a case of a witness coming to the defense of a victim in a failed car theft, but police remain uncertain whether the suspect took any gunfire.

The suspect accused of attempting to steal a vehicle in the 1200 block of Vine Street, who also tried to assault the car’s owner with a knife, fled and was still at large as of Tuesday afternoon, June 8, according to a press release from the El Centro Police Department.

Around 2:50 a.m. police responded to Vine to a report of gunshots, where officer interviewed both the victim and the witness who came to their aid. The suspect had already fled the area on foot.

“During the course of the investigation, officers learned that the suspect was breaking into a vehicle when the vehicle owner confronted him. The suspect, armed with a knife, tried stabbing the victim,” police stated in the release.

“A witness, armed with a firearm, approached the suspect in an attempt to stop the suspect from stabbing the victim,” according to police. “The witness reported discharging his firearm. The suspect then dropped the knife and fled on foot.”

The victim has not been located, so police, according to the release, don’t know if he was shot.

The suspect is described as a Hispanic male adult, standing 6 feet tall, wearing a black facemask and dark clothing, police reported.

This is the second shooting in as many days for the El Centro Police Department. A man was shot at the Crown Motel on North Imperial Avenue overnight Monday, June 7, and he had to be airlifted to a trauma center in Palm Springs, where he was in critical condition.

A suspect has not been arrested in that case as of Tuesday evening, according to police.

Anyone with information on the Vine Street case is encouraged to call El Centro police Detective Adrian Chilpa at 760-352-2111, extension 1347.

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