Police arrest burglary suspect after residents hear gunfire


Courtesy of the Madera Police Department

David Cruz, 52, stands next to a police car Sunday morning after firing a stolen .357 handgun in the 1300 block of County Club Drive. Cruz, a felon with an extensive criminal record, fled from officers after firing the gun.

Police arrested David Cruz, 52, after he fired a .357 revolver on Sunday afternoon in the 1300 block of Country Club Drive and then fled from police to the area of Clark Street. The gun was reportedly stolen in a residential burglary a few days earlier in the area of Heatherwood Drive.

Witnesses heard and saw Cruz fire the gun and then flee the scene on a bicycle as police arrived. He then dropped the bicycle and ran another couple of hundred yards into brush before being caught by officers. The loaded .357 was thrown into a field as he fled, according to police.

A few residents reported hearing large caliber shots fired in the area off Sunset Avenue around 11:30 p.m. Saturday, but officers said no injuries or property damage were reported and they were unable to locate anything other than a few shell casings on west Park Drive and those may have been dropped in the earlier burglary. Detectives are requesting residents that may have heard this incident contact police or those hearing any gunfire promptly report it to 911 with as good of a location estimate or street as possible.

Cruz, who police call a career criminal, is intermittently homeless and has a long history of drug, burglary and property theft arrests back to the 1980s.

He was arrested and charged with possession of stolen property, negligently discharging a firearm, burglary, interfering with an officer, being a felon in possession of loaded weapon, attempting to destroy evidence, and being under the influence of narcotics, a controlled substance. Cruz also, reportedly, had another gun in his possession at his arrest. He is being held without bail in the Madera County jail.

Madera Chief of Police Dino Lawson said he was glad Cruz was off the streets and thanked residents for calling in and being good witnesses to the dangerous daytime shooting incident.

Detectives are attempting to trace other property Cruz had in his possession to other burglaries.

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