Suspect in two Santa Rosa shootings arrested after chase from Santa Rosa to Healdsburg
A 22-year-old man, who police say has been on a monthlong 'one-man crime spree' including two shootings, was arrested Wednesday after leading police in pursuit from southeast Santa Rosa to Healdsburg, where he was detained by an Santa Rosa officer and bitten by a police dog.
Undra Moore, who police say is a gang member, was treated at the hospital with minor injuries sustained in the arrest, then was booked into Sonoma County Jail on 15 felony charges and two misdemeanors.
He was held without bail and due in court Friday afternoon. One of the felony counts is child endangerment because a child was in the vehicle Wednesday, police said.
The final moments of arrest, captured by a passerby on cellphone video as Moore lay handcuffed and facedown in the grass along Highway 101, spread rapidly on Facebook. The video shows the police dog dart away from the officer and lunge at the handcuffed man. A Sonoma County sheriff's deputy, flagged down for assistance by the Santa Rosa officer, pulled his gun and pointed it at the person filming the video and another woman yelling at the officers.
Moore is a suspect in an attempted murder May 14 at the Andy Lopez Unity Park in Santa Rosa that seriously injured an 18-year-old man, and a shooting May 27 on Challenger Way that wounded a 32-year-old man.
Investigators think both are gang-related shootings, Santa Rosa Police Sgt. Kyle Philp said.
Moore also was wanted in connection with an armed robbery at a Santa Rosa convenience store on West Third Street on May 12, Sgt. Summer Gloeckner said.
'Some of my detectives know him pretty well,' Philp said of Moore. 'He was released from prison not too long ago and from what we can gather, he's been on a one-man crime spree since then.'
Arrested Wednesday with Moore was Jesus Alberto Mendez, 19, of Santa Rosa, who faces charges of evading police on May 15 and was arrested June 15 on suspicion of attempted murder in the park shooting. Mendez initially was held on $2 million bail on the attempted murder count, but he has not been formally charged by the Sonoma County District Attorney's Office. He was released Wednesday, while detectives investigate further.
'We have been given some initial investigative information and there is ongoing investigation that will determine whether or not charges will be filed,' Chief Deputy District Attorney Brian Staebell said. 'With what we've received at this point, there is insufficient evidence to bring those charges at this time. We're continuing to review all additional information.'
Philp said Moore is a Norteños gang member who served prison time for a robbery a few years ago. In December 2016, Moore was one of four teens arrested in the beating of a Santa Rosa Raley's grocery store employee who attempted to stop the group from shoplifting alcohol, according to Press Democrat reports.
Since Moore's recent release from prison, Philp said he's the suspect in a range of criminal activity in Santa Rosa.
On May 12, Moore is accused of committing an armed robbery at a convenience store in the Big Oak Plaza Shopping Center on West Third Street. The suspect pointed a handgun at the clerk, demanded money and fled. An off-duty CHP officer saw the car leaving and got a partial license plate number, leading detectives to suspect Moore, Philp said.
Two weeks later, Moore is accused of confronting a 'dropout gang member' on Challenger Way, shooting him twice, the sergeant said, noting the victim hasn't cooperated with police.
Between those two events, Sonoma County sheriff's detectives suspect Moore participated in the shooting at the Andy Lopez park. That incident is thought to be gang-related as well. A teenage boy also was arrested in that case and booked into Los Guilicos Juvenile Hall, after a police SWAT team served a search warrant at his house on May 20. The status of charges against him was unavailable Thursday.
On Wednesday, Santa Rosa police detectives working on investigations involving Moore spotted the man driving near Mission Boulevard and Highway 12 around 3:30 p.m. Because there were other people in his car, including at least one child, an unmarked patrol car followed but kept a bit behind, Philp said.
'He was driving very, very erratically, all over the road,' Philp said. 'We tried to keep it loose. We didn't want to get anyone hurt and we didn't want to make the situation worse.'
A Sonoma County sheriff's helicopter began tracking Moore's vehicle as he drove north along Calistoga Road, Mark West Springs Road and eventually onto Highway 101.
A sheriff's deputy near Healdsburg laid down spike strips on the highway that punctured the vehicle's tires, Gloeckner said, and forced Moore to pull over. Mendez began walking away from the scene, but was arrested by a sheriff's deputy, Philp said.
Moore began to run, but a Santa Rosa police officer and his police dog caught up to him. The officer punched Moore 'several times with his hands,' Gloeckner said, and the dog bit Moore as the officer took him into custody.
Cellphone video taken by a passerby showed Moore lying in handcuffs on the ground along the highway. A woman who was in the car with Moore and Mendez, Tiffany Ann Lawson, 27, of Santa Rosa, confronted the officer as he was leashing the dog away from Moore. The dog appears to briefly slip free and lunge at Moore, reaching his upper body before the officer pulls the dog off the man.
The tense confrontation prompted the Santa Rosa officer to wave his hand at sheriff's deputy arriving his patrol vehicle. The deputy strides up and, pointing his gun at Lawson and the person filming, orders them to back away.
The video had been viewed more than 35,000 times before it was taken down from Facebook Thursday afternoon.
Lawson, whose children were in Moore's vehicle during the incident, was cited and released on suspicion of obstructing an officer, Gloeckner said.
Philp, who said Thursday he hadn't seen the video, spoke with the officer handling the police dog. Philp said he thought the arresting officers, who were wearing activated body-worn cameras, acted reasonably.
Moore faces 17 charges in six cases pending in Sonoma County Superior Court. Mendez, who had been released from jail just days ago after being arrested on suspicion of attempted murder in the Andy Lopez park shooting, was booked Wednesday on charges of violating his conditions for pretrial release, in a separate case that also involved fleeing law enforcement.