Napa Police and county sheriff’s deputies traded gunfire with a fleeing suspect Tuesday afternoon on Linda Vista Avenue, killing the man in a volley of bullets that perforated his car.
Officers were dispatched at 1:54 p.m. after receiving several calls about shots fired in the 2300 block Bueno Street in west Napa, according to police Chief Steve Potter.
Initial reports said the dead man had been involved in a dispute with a neighbor earlier in the day.
As officers were setting up a perimeter around a home, the suspect drove out of his garage and fired at officers as he drove off, Napa Police reported.
A short distance away on Linda Vista near Roberto Street, police returned fire and killed the suspect, Potter said.
Potter briefed reporters on the afternoon’s violent events, but declined to release the identity of the dead man now.
The suspect was apparently driving a silver Honda Civic sedan that crashed into a curbside tree on the east side of Linda Vista at Roberto, a block from Bueno Street.
The vehicle had many bullet holes in its windshield and passenger side. The horn sounded endlessly and the wipers continued to flap for more than an hour as police, deputies and the California Highway Patrol set up a perimeter and began searching the suspect’s house on Bueno and adjacent structures.
A witness, who declined to be identified, said he was entering Linda Vista Avenue from the south when he saw two patrol cars pass him with lights on but sirens off, then saw an officer with his gun already drawn. The man described hearing about 30 shots fired as the Honda entered the street, followed by at least 10 more rounds as he drove east away from danger.
An unknown number of officers received minor injuries, possibly from shrapnel, in the exchange of gunfire and were treated by paramedics at the scene, Potter said.
Police brought in a robot, then a canine search unit to go through several residences on Bueno, one of which belonged to the suspect, but did not report finding anything hazardous.
Napa Police called out reserve forces and the CHP flew its helicopter overhead while ground officers combed the neighborhood. The chopper continued to circle over Linda Vista Avenue and nearby streets for more than two hours after the shooting.
CHP Officer Marc Renspurger said the helicopter crew was assisting police and sheriff’s deputies on the ground in setting up their perimeter around the shooting scene, but was not part of a search for any suspect.
West Park Elementary School on Linda Vista, less than two blocks south of the incident, was put on lockdown. Parents were not able to pick up their children at the end of the school day until the Napa Valley Unified School District lifted the lockdown at 3:10 p.m.
The Napa County Sheriff’s Office reported that Linda Vista between West Park and West Pueblo avenues would remain closed to traffic while the shooting scene was investigated.
The Napa County District Attorney’s Office will lead the investigation into Tuesday’s shooting, according to Potter, the city police chief.
Napa Police gave a brief account of the incident on its Facebook page. “Anytime a life is lost, it is tragic,” police said. “Our thoughts are with the man’s family as the investigation into what happened continues.”
This was the second fatal shooting involving Napa Police in three weeks. On March 13, two officers shot and killed Noel Aaron Russell, a 23-year-old transient based in Napa, after he reportedly terrorized shoppers in the parking lot of the South Napa Marketplace, then threatened officers with a knife.
That shooting is being investigated by the Napa County Major Crimes Investigation Team.
The officers involved in that shooting were temporarily put on paid leave, but have returned to duty.
Register public safety reporter Maria Sestito contributed to this report.