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Sonoma suspect tries to fire unloaded gun at authorities

A man tried to open fire on law enforcement officials during an altercation at a Sonoma County park Thursday, but his handgun was empty, authorities said.

Henry Morgan, 28, was arrested following a chase that ended when a Sonoma County sheriff’s deputy rammed and pinned the suspect’s car, the Sheriff’s Office reported Friday.

The encounter began around 3 p.m. Thursday when authorities received multiple calls about a disturbance at Maxwell Farms Regional Park.

A CHP officer and Sonoma County Regional Parks ranger found the suspect fighting another man on Verano Avenue. Morgan was armed with a knife, according to the Sheriff’s Office.

Morgan, whom police described as homeless, is suspected of grabbing a gun from his car and pointing it at the two officials and a sheriff’s deputy who’d just arrived.

“He pulled the trigger multiple times, but the gun did not fire. He continued to point the gun at peace officers, pulling the trigger and pulling back the slide in an attempt to make the gun fire,” the Sheriff’s Office reported in a Facebook post.

The officials tried to get Morgan to calm down, but he became “agitated” and was “acting erratically” as tried to fire his handgun several more times, according to the Sheriff’s Office.

That’s when the suspect fled in a car and led authorities on a chase that ended about a half-mile away at a dead end on School Street, sheriff’s officials said.

Investigators said Morgan tried to back into a sheriff’s deputy, who rammed and pinned his car.

The suspect ran away before being arrested on Craig Avenue near Railroad Avenue. He threatened to kill the deputy while being taken into custody, according to the Sheriff’s Office.

Officials found the gun in the suspect’s car and determined it was real, but unloaded.

“This was an extremely difficult situation. Fortunately, nobody was injured,” officials wrote in the Facebook post.

Morgan was arrested on suspicion of attempted murder, resisting arrest, assault with a deadly weapon on a peace officer, evasion, prohibition on owning a firearm, vandalism and brandishing a deadly weapon.

He was in custody Friday in lieu of $1 million bail at the Sonoma County Jail in Santa Rosa. Morgan is scheduled to appear in Sonoma County Superior Court as early as Monday.

You can reach Staff Writer Colin Atagi at colin.atagi@pressdemocrat.com. On Twitter @colin_atagi.

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