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Injured California Police Officer, Homicide Suspect Dies After OnStar Stops Truck During Hours-Long Police Chase

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Injured California Police Officer, Homicide Suspect Dies After OnStar Stops Truck During Hours-Long Police Chase

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A fugitive homicide suspect in California led officers from three jurisdictions in a multi-hour car chase before discovering the vehicle was equipped with an OnStar device and could be stopped with an electronic signal.

Roberto Salgado, 39, was wanted in a Sunday shooting in Vista, Calif., When an Escondido police officer saw him driving about 30 miles north of San Diego with a woman in her car at 11:19 p.m. PT Sunday.

It took off and drove officers from Escondido, Oceanside and the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department in an approximately three-hour car chase, Lt. Bode Berreth, a police spokesperson for the United States of America, said on Monday. ‘Escondido.

FILE – An aerial photo taken over Escondido, California.
(Thomas De Wever)

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Salgado drove to Interstate 5, then returned to Escondido, investigators said.

At one point, officers threw a strip of spikes and punctured three of his tires, Berreth said, but he continued to drive anyway.

Then police discovered the pickup was equipped with OnStar, GM’s vehicle emergency services affiliate, and the company remotely shut it down around 2:50 a.m. Monday. Berreth said it was the first time he knew OnStar was intervening to remotely deactivate the vehicle of a fleeing suspect.

OnStar did not immediately respond to requests for comment on Monday. GM’s offices have been closed all week.

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Once Salgado’s truck came to a stop, he jumped up and allegedly opened fire on two policemen, hitting one. Salgado was pronounced dead at the scene.

Berreth said the injured officer’s vest stopped the bullet – but a shard or other object hit him in the side.

“The bullet hit him in the vest,” he said. “There was a piece of material that got into his left side.”

The results of a ballistic investigation were not yet available.

“I spoke to him this morning,” Berreth said. “He seemed to be in a good mood. He was walking. He was moving. He was fine.”

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Salgado allegedly shot dead Florencio Rodriguez, 42, in his driveway in Teelin early Sunday night, according to the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department.

When police finally arrested him early Monday morning, his cousin was in the passenger seat. Authorities said she was not considered a suspect.

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