SOQUEL — A San Jose man is in custody after he shot a man in front of a Soquel business March 7 and then tried to outrun police in his vehicle, police said.
Santa Cruz County Sheriff's Sgt. Stefan Fish said the victim was shot three times in the Safeway parking lot on 41st Avenue at 4:45 p.m. He reportedly had an infant child in the car with him but the child was not hurt, Sgt. Brian Cleveland said.
Moments after the shooting a Sheriff’s deputy spotted the suspect vehicle, a bright orange Honda Fit, with at least one Hispanic male aboard. A short while later, Sheriff's deputies got behind the fleeing suspect vehicle as it raced toward Santa Cruz on Soquel Drive. The driver tried to evade police as he crossed over Highway 1 to Soquel Avenue, where he lost control of the vehicle on a sharp curve and smashed through a bank of signs at 2842 Soquel Ave.
Though seriously injured, the suspect, Joshua Strauss, 18, then scrambled out of the crumpled Honda and tried to flee on foot but deputies caught up with him and took him into custody about 300 yards from the crash site.
An unknown citizen who saw Strauss running from one of the deputies tackled him and assisted in the arrest. Strauss was arrested and a firearm was located in the Honda, Cleveland said. Strauss was flown to a Bay Area trauma center due to the extent of his injuries. He was later interviewed and booked into Santa Cruz County Jail on two charges of attempted murder.
The commotion unfolded right on the midst of rush hour, sending traffic into a snarled mess around the clutch of emergency vehicles. Numerous motorists blared their horns while others hollered out their windows after waiting for the light to change through three cycles with no progress. Meanwhile, adding to the tension, two emergency helicopters circled overhead and scores of curious onlookers rushed to the scene for a glimpse of the action.
“Well, I guess I’ll have to replace that sign,” said one man from a nearby business, upon noticing the caved-in sign with a Honda embedded in it.
Additionally, the Sheriff’s Office received information that Strauss was possibly a suspect in a shooting in San Jose earlier in the day where a young teenager was struck by gunfire. The Sheriff’s Office is working with San Jose Police Department to coordinate the cases.
The adult victim in the 41st Avenue shooting was taken to Dominican Hospital and listed in critical condition. He is expected to survive, Cleveland said.
The Sheriff’s Office asks anyone who witnessed the shooting in the Safeway parking lot to call Sgt. Daniel Freitas at 454-7635.
“We would also like to thank the citizen who stepped in and assisted our deputies in apprehending Joshua Strauss,” Cleveland said.