The suspect in the shooting of a Mountain View police officer early Saturday morning was arrested in Union City shortly before noon Sunday. This was the first Mountain View officer shot in the line of duty in 20 years, police said.
US Marshals Service officers arrested the suspect, 33-year-old Jeffrey Choy of Stockton, after what Mountain View police Chief Chris Hsiung called a “non-stop operation (with) multiple agencies involved.” Mountain View detectives were present at the time of the arrest, Hsiung said, as well as the Union City Police Department.
Hsiung said Choy was spotted walking down the street in Union City this morning.
“The officers basically tried to form a plan to try and locate him and detain him safely,” Hsiung said in an interview at the Mountain View police station on July 17. “There was a very brief foot pursuit, but he was able to be apprehended without any use of force, and done so safely.”
Choy will be booked at the Santa Clara County Jail on charges of attempted murder of a peace officer, according to police. Choy had one outstanding warrant for a separate felony at the time of his arrest, Hsiung said.
The July 16 shooting occurred shortly after midnight July 16 as an officer working overtime for DUI enforcement was conducting a traffic stop at Villa Street and Wild Cherry Lane, according to the department.
“Upon walking up to the driver side door was when he was shot,” Hsiung said of the officer, a five-year department veteran whom the city is not naming. “He immediately put it out on the radio. He performed heroically, calmly, putting out information so the responding units knew what he knew at the time. He treated himself with first aid, and I’m happy to say that he’s in good spirits and doing well and recovering at home.”
Hsiung said the officer was shot in the upper body, but declined to state where. After shooting the officer, the suspect fled the area in a car and crashed a short time later.
“We had someone call into our dispatch center reporting a hit and run,” Hsiung said. “Our dispatcher quickly put two and two together, and figured out that it was the same car. Officers descended on that area to try to seal it off and look for the suspect.”
Hsiung said the weapon fired was a handgun, but could not confirm whether the weapon was recovered as evidence.
“Car stops can be some of the most benign, but also some of the most dangerous points of contact, because an officer walking up to a car really doesn’t know anything about the person inside or the dangers that they face,” Hsiung said. “… This was a very stark example of the dangers, that in a matter of seconds it can turn for the worst.”
The officer, a father, is “in great spirits” recovering at home with his family and “he’s very much looking forward to returning to work,” the police chief said.
Getting the call that an officer was shot is “the one call you never want to get as a chief,” Hsiung said, “and it’s the one call that springs you out of bed and immediately activates everybody in the department, every resource, all hands on deck.”
The last time a Mountain View police officer was shot in the line of duty was in 2002.
“Ironically, he was the supervisor who was working last night when this happened,” Hsiung said of the officer shot two decades ago.
The department released two still images from the body camera of the officer wounded July 16. Hsiung said there are no plans to release the video footage.
“It’s a fine line we’re trying to walk between showing the severity of what happened but also not traumatizing,” Hsiung said. “It is upsetting, both to the officer, the officer’s family or many people out there. Gun violence can be triggering, so we’re trying to walk that line of giving as much information as we can without overdoing it.”