|Suspects in gun thefts fatally shot|
| Stacia Glenn Staff Writer|
Whittier Daily News
Two of the four men suspected of stealing an arsenal of handguns from a San Bernardino gun shop were shot dead by police Friday during a shootout that followed a high-speed chase.
Tobari Barnes, 26, of West Covina died at the scene. The other three suspects were arrested and taken to Loma Linda University Medical Center, where 20-year-old Isaiah Henderson of Diamond Bar died after surgery.
Police refused to identify the other two suspects. No officers were wounded during the gunfight.
Four men burst into Turner's Outdoorsman on West Orange Show Road at 8:40 p.m. Friday - just before quitting time - and held at least two clerks at gunpoint while stuffing 75 rifles, shotguns and handguns into black duffel bags.
A San Bernardino police cruiser drove by as the suspects squealed away in their getaway car, a black Acura Legend, starting an eight-minute car chase that surpassed 90 mph. The cars careened through the streets of San Bernardino until the suspects trapped themselves in a cul-de-sac on Third Street in Highland.
One police car T-boned the Acura as it rounded the cul-de-sac. The suspects bailed out of the car, pointing guns at the officers while one tried to hide in a large bin.
An officer yelled "Shots fired!" before San Bernardino police fired their weapons, striking three of the men and shattering all four side windows of the Acura.
The incident happened less than 10 hours after Attorney General Alberto Gonzales announced the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives is sending a team of federal agents to San Bernardino to combat violent crime and take illegal firearms off the streets.
Susan Raichel, ATF spokeswoman, said it is crimes like these that highlight the importance of the Violent Crime Impact Team initiative.
"It keeps guns out of the hands of the wrong types of people that commit violent crime resulting in an unnecessary loss of life," she said. "We're taking away their tools of terrors."
Police said they do not know why the men wanted the weapons. San Bernardino County sheriff's deputies were still investigating the scene at
1 p.m. Saturday. They customarily handle officer-involved shootings and also provide police service to Highland.
The suspects might be responsible for several other Inland Empire robberies, said Lt. Rick Moyer.
Officials suspect the men who robbed Turner's in San Bernardino might also be responsible for the robbery of Turner's in Riverside last month. ATF is offering a $10,000 reward for information leading to an arrest in the Riverside case.
Three masked men stormed into the store just before closing time May 10 and stole 20 handguns in a minute and a half.
Those guns have yet to be recovered. Police believe they recovered all of the stolen weapons in San Bernardino, but an ATF agent will inventory all guns at Turner's to ensure none were lost in the chase.
"We recovered 75 guns and you think, `Holy moley, did we just prevent 75 homicides?"' Raichel said.
BS Ranch Perspective
The Rialto Police Department had a Theft of the Guns and Ammo Store in Rialto in the Mid 90's During that Burglary that was interrupted, a shootout started, and in that shoot out luckily none of the Suspects were killed, and Rialto PD was able to apprehended all the suspects. It was a Very Successful Case for the New SCAT (Street Crime Attack Team) They got the tip called in early by a couple that had got wind of the burglary from two of the people that were planing the event. Once they got the time and the Date they passed it on to the Police Department. Then they went to work set up a surveillance and caught the crooks in action. Once the alarms were activated they were in trouble, but they had access to many of the guns in the store and they were not going to give themselves up. The gunfight was not long but it was remember able. Exciting that night, the shift went by fast and wow, we only worked an eight hour shift then and it went quickly.
I am glad that no one at SBPD was hurt in that Shoot out, and justice was served on the crooks.