Monday Dec 06 2010
Deputies fire on parolee
By: Stephanie Dumm, News Messenger Reporter
Man driving stolen vehicle dies from gunshot
The driver of a stolen vehicle was shot and killed Monday morning by Placer County Sheriff officers in Lincoln. John William Sinor Jr., 42, was shot by officers after he did not pull over in the stolen white Ford pick-up truck, according to Lincoln public information officer Jill Thompson. Sinor was a Lincoln-area resident and a parolee at large out of Yuba County, according to Thompson. A parolee at large is someone who hasn’t followed the terms of their parole or hasn’t checked in with their parole officer, according to Lincoln Police Lt. Paul Shelgren. The shooting occurred at 10:42 a.m. in an alley next to Burger King between First and Second streets. Joshua Newman, Phoenix Auto Sales manager, said he witnessed the police firing the shots and saw bullets hit the suspect. The shooting happened in the alley behind the business. “From my angle, it looked like the bullet hit into his shoulder,” Newman said. One witness told The News Messenger they heard five to six gunshots. Raquel Morales, another witness, said she was walking down G Street when she saw a pick-up truck drive into the alley, followed by a police vehicle. “That’s when an officer asked the person in the pick-up truck to get out,” Morales said. Morales said she saw the truck ram another car and then she heard gunshots. Dwane Hansen said he was in a local hair salon and heard five to six gunshots “one after another.” “I didn’t know what it was at first. I never think gunshots in Lincoln,” Morales said. Sinor was transported to an area hospital by ambulance that morning, where he was pronounced dead. Undercover Placer County Sheriff officers had been following Sinor, who was driving a stolen white pick-up truck, according to Thompson. Lincoln Police Chief Joel Neves said the stolen vehicle was discovered in Lincoln that morning by the undercover cops, who are part of the Placer County Auto Theft Task Force, which monitors and recovers stolen vehicles. The undercover officers monitored the white pick-up truck on Monday to see if anyone would get in and drive it, according to Neves. “When it started in motion, they asked the Placer County deputies to make the stop,” Neves said. It is not known where the vehicle was traveling from, according to Thompson, and the driver was the only occupant of the truck. Thompson said the undercover officer was getting ready to pull the suspect over, and called for back-up from two Placer County patrol officers. The vehicle was not traveling at a high-speed prior to being pulled over, according to Thompson. She said it was “rolling through the alley.” The officer fired shots at the suspect after he “rammed one officer’s car and attempted to run over another officer who was on foot,” according to Thompson. When asked if the shooting was gang-related, Thompson said that was not known. The Lincoln Police Department is investigating the shooting, along with the Placer County District Attorney’s Office, according to Thompson. She said the Lincoln Police Department is involved because the incident “happened in their jurisdiction.” Police tape contained the crime scene area from First to Second Streets from the sidewalk to the alley. Shelgren said Wednesday that the case is still under investigation, with detectives “finishing up interviews and collecting remaining evidence.” “This was an officer-involved shooting, so we are conducting the investigation like we would anything,” Shelgren said. “The evidence shows we had a suspect who showed deadly force against three Placer County deputies that resulted in the loss of one life.” The Lincoln Police Department will then forward the case to the Placer County District Attorney’s Office, which Shelgren said would be in a couple of weeks. “They will review the information and determine if it’s in order and if the officers were justified in their actions,” Shelgren said. Destini Hayes, Sinor’s sister-in-law, questioned why officers responded the way they did that day. “I think it was excessive,” Hayes said. “I just don’t understand. It was a stolen vehicle. Why couldn’t they shoot out a tire?” Hayes has custody of Sinor’s two sons, Bryce, 7, and Joshua, 4, and lives in Sheridan. “He was completely devoted to his children and he would do anything to be around them or with them,” Hayes said. “He was the best dad ever. He loved his kids.” Hayes described Sinor as “always making everybody happy.” “You always had a good time with him,” Hayes said.