Ceres Police Department’s SWAT team arrested one of two suspects connected to a Sunday afternoon armed robbery of the Ceres Home Depot store in which shots were fired.
The arrest of Edward Lopez, 45, of Turlock came about three hours after police tracked down the getaway car to a home on Linwood Avenue in Turlock. Second and third suspects have not been arrested.
Ceres Police said shots were fired at a store loss prevention officer but missed.
The robbery was reported at 12:18 p.m. after two men – recognized as committing a prior theft – loaded up a tote with merchandise and fled out an emergency exit.
A loss prevention agent was positioned outside the fire exit and confronted the pair. The suspect carrying the tote dropped it, while the other suspect yelled “get back” and fired a handgun in the direction of the employee. Police say the gunman was Lopez.
No one was injured.
The two men ran to an awaiting tan-colored Chevy Impala which sped off toward Highway 99. Officers quickly arrived on scene to search for the car but did not locate it.
Officers reviewed video surveillance and ran the suspects’ license plate number and learned that it was registered to an owner living on Linwood Avenue in Turlock.
Police staked out the Turlock home where they found the Impala parked. Expecting violence, a decision was made to surround the residence, call in the Ceres and Sheriff’s Department SWAT team and obtain a search warrant for the car and home.
At approximately 3:20 p.m., both SWAT teams surrounded the Linwood home to relieve Ceres patrol officers. Soon after moving in, SWAT members spotted Lopez on the roof of the home and ordered him to lay prone. A ladder was brought in and Lopez voluntarily came off of the roof. He was arrested by SWAT members. A loaded handgun was located in his waistband.
Over the next several hours, crisis negotiators used the loudspeaker from the SWAT truck to call out for all the occupants to exit the home. Other occupants slowly emerged but none matched the other suspect.
Tear gas was eventually introduced into the home but nobody else came out. SWAT members entered and cleared the residence.
Lopez was identified as the suspect who fired the gun at Home Depot. He faces charges of attempted murder, robbery, ex-felon possession of a firearm and several outstanding warrants.
Investigators are still working the case to identify the other man that was involved as well as the getaway driver of the Chevy Impala.
Anyone with information on the crime or suspects is urged to contact Det. Matt Berlier at 538-5616 or Crime Stoppers at 521-4636.