Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Suspect wanted after shooting at Mendocino Deputy during pursuit-Update; wanted suspect arrested Featured

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 Update- Thurs., Feb. 28, 2013; wanted suspect, Walter Kristopher Miller, arrested in Ukiah. Hear more on the KMUD Local News tonight at 6 PM.

According to a press release from the Mendocino County Sheriff's Office, Walter Kristopher Miller has been arrested. Miller is a suspect in a vehicular pursuit which, according to a Sheriff's Report, included gunshots fired by Miller at the pursing officer's car. Miller was taken into custody on Wed., Feb. 27 and booked for: attempted murder, illegal possessing a firearm, burglary, possessing stolen property, conspiracy and parole violation. See the press release directly below for more information on the arrest of Miller. Also, check below for previous audio aired on this story and additional press releases. 

Press release update:
On 02-27-2013 at approximately 1130 hours Sheriff's Detectives received information that Walter Kristopher Miller was possibly occupying a room at the Best Western Orchard Inn in the city of Ukiah. Sheriff's Detectives conducted investigations into the information while members of the Mendocino Major Crimes Task Force and County of Mendocino Marijuana Eradication Team established surveillance on the hotel. Approximately 2 hours later Sheriff's Detectives uncovered substantial information that showed Miller was currently occupying a room at the hotel.

A perimeter was established around the hotel with the assistance of personnel from the Mendocino County Sheriff's Office, Ukiah Police Department, California Highway Patrol (officers and helicopter) and Mendocino County District Attorney's Office.

The Mendocino County Sheriff's Office SWAT team, comprised of personnel from the Mendocino County Sheriff's Office and Willits Police Department, were summoned to the scene.  The SWAT team was deployed to the inside of the hotel where the team then confined Miller to the room he was solely occupying on the second story. Customers inside the hotel were evacuated to a safe location away from the hotel and nearby businesses were instructed to shelter in place. The City of Ukiah Fire Department in addition to the City of Ukiah Ambulance service and Ukiah Ambulance service were summoned to the area to stand by in the event of a medical emergency.

Personnel from the Mendocino County Sheriff's Office Crisis Negotiation Team were summoned to the hotel in an attempt to contact Miller.  Prior to their arrival a Sheriff's Detective established telephone communications with Miller and began to negotiate his peaceful surrender. During the approximately 2.5 hour negotiation process Miller expressed a desire to surrender to his parole agent from the Division of Adult Parole Operations with the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation. As the parole agent was arriving at the hotel Miller exited the room and surrendered himself to members of the SWAT team.

Sheriff's Detectives conducted a search of the hotel room pursuant to a search warrant and seized an AP 9mm machine pistol with 2 loaded high capacity magazines (20 & 30 round magazine). Sheriff's Detectives noted this was one of the firearms stolen from the Van Arsdale Road residence in Potter Valley on 02-25-2013 and was the firearm believed to be used during the attempted murder of the Mendocino County Sheriff's Deputy on that same day.

Miller was transported to the Mendocino County Jail where he was booked on charges of attempted murder, illegal possessing a firearm, burglary, possessing stolen property, conspiracy and parole violation.  Miller is currently being held on a no bail status.

The original post of this story appears below.


A high speed pursuit, with shots fired at the pursuing Mendocino Sheriff Deputy's vehicle, occurred last Mon.evening. One of the two suspects in the incident has been arrested, but the other suspect, Walter Kristopher Miller, age 33, from Ukiah, California, is still at large and is considered armed and dangerous,

Use the player below to hear more on this incident, including press conference audio from Mendocino County Sheriff Tom Allman. This story was aired by KMUD News Director, Terri Klemetson, on the KMUD Local News Tues., Feb. 26, 2013.

Below, see the photo of wanted suspect Miller, arrested suspect Christopher Skaggs, and the Mendocino Sheriff's Office press releases.

Wanted suspect, Walter Kristopher Miller, shown below:

Arrested suspect, Christopher Skaggs, is shown below.

Original press release, dated Mon.,Feb. 25, 2013:

On 02-25-2013 at 2149 hours a Mendocino County Sheriff's Deputy conducted a traffic stop of a sedan displaying an expired registration in the 1200 block of South State Street in Ukiah, California. Once the sedan stopped the Deputy approached the driver?s window to contact the driver. Upon reaching the window the vehicle quickly accelerated southbound on South State Street, which prompted the Deputy to give chase.

The Deputy engaged the sedan in a vehicular pursuit as the sedan reached speeds of approximately 80-90 miles an hour. The sedan shortly thereafter turned westbound on Highway 253 and slowed to speeds of approximately 50-60 miles an hour. At this time the sedan swerved into the opposing traffic lane several times, even in the presence of blind curves in the roadway In the 900 block of Highway 253 the front passenger of the sedan partially exited the open passenger window and shot several times at the Deputy's patrol vehicle with a handgun. One of the bullets struck the patrol vehicle's radiator and shortly thereafter rendered the patrol vehicle inoperable.

Mendocino County Sheriff's Deputies from county-wide converged to the area in an attempt to locate the sedan that was last seen traveling westbound of Highway 253. At this time the search was aided by personnel from the California Highway Patrol, Ukiah Police Department, Cloverdale Police Department and Sonoma County Sheriff's Office.

During the search the sedan was found abandoned in a driveway leading to a residence located in the 6000 block of Highway 253. As a result, a reverse 911 call was initiated to residents in the surrounding area. During a search of the driveway near the sedan several items where found that showed the escape path, by foot, of the suspects. Deputies on scene noticed the items found were reported as being stolen from a residential burglary on Van Arsdale Road in Potter Valley earlier in the evening. It was noted by Deputies that several firearms (handguns, rifle and shotgun) and ammunition had been stolen during the residential burglary but had not been recovered with the abandoned sedan.

Sheriff's Detectives responded to the scene and are conducting further investigations into the shooting incident.

At this time Detectives have identified Christopher Skaggs (30-years-old from Redwood Valley, California) and Walter Kristopher Miller (33-year-old from Ukiah, California) as persons of interest in this incident. The public should consider Skaggs and Miller to be possibly armed and dangerous. Skaggs is currently wanted on an unrelated burglary and robbery incident reported to the Sheriff's Office on 02-19-2013.

Anyone with information on the current whereabouts of Skaggs and Miller are urged to contact the Sheriff's Office Dispatch Center at 707-463-4086 or the Sheriff's Office Tip-Line at 707-234-2100.

Updated press release- Tues., Feb. 26, 2013:

On 02-26-2013 at approximately 0900 hours Sheriff's Detectives received information that Christopher Skaggs was seen walking in the 3000 block of South State Street in Ukiah. Sheriff's Detectives responded to the area and saw Skaggs near the intersection of South State Street and Norgard Lane.  When Sheriff's Detectives attempted to contact Skaggs he fled on foot and was subsequently apprehended after a short foot chase.

Through further investigations Sheriff's Detectives have identified Walter Kristopher Miller as being the person whom discharged a firearm at the Sheriff's Deputy during the vehicular pursuit.

At this time Miller's current whereabouts are unknown and the public should consider him to be armed and dangerous.  Sheriff's Detectives believe Miller to still be in possession of a firearm and he has a history of violent behavior.

A photograph of Miller can be found by accessing the Mendocino County Sheriff's Office website at www.mendocinosheriff.com and by selecting the "County's Most Wanted" link on the left side of the main page.

The Mendocino County Sheriff's Office would like to thank the California Highway Patrol, Ukiah Police Department, Cloverdale Police Department, Santa Rosa Police Department, Sonoma County Sheriff's Office, Mendocino County District Attorney's Office, California Department of Justice Forensic Bureau and U.S. Marshals Service for assisting in this investigation.

Anyone with information on the current whereabouts of Miller is urged to contact the Sheriff's Office Dispatch Center at 707-463-4086 or the Sheriff's Office Tip-Line at 707-234-2100.

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