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In foiled Santa Rosa heist, two arrested after officer shoots armed suspect

Santa Rosa police detectives were still working to identify two men Friday evening who were arrested after a failed pre-dawn armed robbery at an armored car facility in the southwest corner of the city.

One of the men could not be interviewed by detectives because of his medical condition after he was shot by a police officer in a confrontation outside the building, said Lt. John Cregan. The suspect is expected to survive.

The other man, who was being held at the Santa Rosa Police Department, has not cooperated with police and provided detectives with a false name, Cregan said. Police were waiting to confirm the suspects’ identities through fingerprint analysis.

The attempted heist happened just before 3 a.m. at the Northpoint Parkway address for GardaWorld, near Stony Point Road, where robbers in a 2011 holdup made off with $1 million in cash.

An officer summoned by the 2:51 a.m. alarm arrived in time to see the suspects leaving and fired multiple shots at a man who raised a handgun after he was ordered to drop it, Cregan said. Investigators had yet to determine if the suspect fired at the officer, Cregan said.

The suspect was hit one or two times and staggered to a nearby creek where he collapsed, Cregan said. A handgun and a Taser were found by his side, police said.

The responding officer was wearing a body camera at the time of the shooting, Cregan said.

The other suspect ran back in the building, hid in an armored truck and was arrested moments later, the lieutenant said. Another handgun was located close to where the second suspect was found, he said.

The officer’s identity was withheld. He is on paid leave, Cregan said.

Two GardaWorld employees, a man and a woman, were uninjured, Cregan said. They were armed at the time of the attempted robbery but did not use their weapons.

They told officers the suspects arrived a short time before they set off the alarm, pointed a gun at them and demanded cash, Cregan said.

The employees were able to distract the suspects and locked themselves into a walk-in safe full of currency where they sounded the alarm, Cregan said.

“It was foiled by the employees,” he said. “I imagine they have training in place for these situations.”

No one could be reached for comment at Garda?World in Santa Rosa and an inquiry with the company’s corporate headquarters was not answered. GardaWorld issued a brief statement on its website saying all services at the Santa Rosa branch would be suspended through the weekend.

Detectives canvassed a neighborhood behind the GardaWorld facility and found one bullet had gone through a sliding glass door of a residence on Edgewater Drive and struck a television, Cregan said. No one was injured and detectives were investigating whether the bullet was fired by the officer or the suspect.

In the 2011 heist, masked and armed men stormed the facility and fled with bags of cash. They were caught when they attempted a second robbery the next year. The mastermind, Monico Dominguez, was sentenced in federal court to 32 years in prison.

You can reach Staff Writer Nick Rahaim at 707-521-5203 or nick.rahaim@pressdemocrat.com. On Twitter @nrahaim. You can reach Staff Writer Paul Payne at 707-568-5312 or paul.payne@pressdemocrat.com. On Twitter @ppayne.

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