PLACER COUNTY (CBS13) — The manhunt is over for the suspect who shot a man inside an Auburn Quick Lube Tuesday afternoon. Placer County law enforcement conducted an extensive search for 41-year old Joseph David De La Cruz. Detectives say they even scoured the woods in Clipper Gap until they found him Wednesday morning near his home, along Christian Valley Road.
Auburn Police confirmed the suspect had no business coming down to the Quick Lube to see his estranged wife. There’s a restraining order banning him from contacting her and their daughter.
Alert neighbors in Christian Valley flooded emergency lines Wednesday morning, helping Placer County Sheriff’s deputies capture 41-year old Joseph David De La Cruz.
“I saw somebody walking out through the brush here which I thought was really unusual,” said one resident.
This woman who wants to remain anonymous was one of many callers concerned the man in her yard was the suspected shooter on the run.
“Every time a car would go by he would hunker down behind all those trees,” she told CBS13.
A manhunt was still underway for the suspect since Tuesday afternoon. Sheriff’s deputies helped Auburn police detectives scour remote areas in Placer County after the shooter’s truck was found near railroad tracks in Clipper Gap, a few miles away from where he was arrested Wednesday.
“We had our helicopter, our SWAT, special enforcement team, deputies, detectives, anything we could do to locate the person before he hurts anyone else,” said Placer County Sheriff’s Lieutenant Andrew Scott.
The 911 calls led sheriff’s deputies to the 16-hundred block of Christian Valley Road, where they found the suspect.
“He pulled a pocket knife out of his pocket and did cut his wrist, we took him into custody,” the Lieutenant said.
According to Auburn police, De La Cruz drove down to the Quick Lube Tuesday, where his estranged wife works. Officers say he wanted to talk to her, but then the two got into an argument. De La Cruz shot an employee trying to intervene, then drove away.
Police say they believe the suspect was trying to kill his soon-to-be ex-wife. A potential killer is caught and off the streets thanks to the help of several brave citizens, and a sharp sense of urgency.
“I just thought that’s the best thing to do,” said the anonymous caller.
The suspect’s estranged wife declined CBS13’s interview Wednesday. De La Cruz could be facing charges including assault with a deadly weapon and attempted homicide.