SOUTH EL MONTE (CNS) - The suspects wanted on suspicion of shooting a sheriff's deputy before embarking on a series of carjackings in South El Monte have been identified as a husband who recently escaped from the San Bernardino County Jail with the help of his wife, the second suspect.
Darnell Washington, 24, escaped from the Glen Helen Rehabilitation Center in Devore with the assistance of his wife, 25-year-old Tania Washington on Aug. 28, according to the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department.
Washington was in custody for robbery and receiving stolen property and was scheduled to appear in court Sept. 14.
The shooting in the area of Durfee Avenue and Peck Road was reported at 8:56 a.m., Capt. Mike Parker of the Sheriff's Headquarters Bureau said.
The deputy's injuries were not life-threatening, and just after 2 p.m., Parker was reporting the deputy had been released from the hospital.
Just before 9 a.m., the deputy noticed suspicious behavior from a motorist and passenger in a vehicle which, upon further investigation, returned information regarding an armed and dangerous subject, Nicole Nishida of the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department said.
Sheriff's officials said suspect Darnell Washington allegedly emerged from the rear of the vehicle right before the gunfire exchange.
"The deputy-involved shooting occurred at that time,'' Nishida said. "The suspects fled and after that a series of multiple carjackings occurred.''
Nishida said a search for the two suspects continues. The last vehicle carjacked was a light blue 1996 Plymouth Voyager with license plate 3PHK484. This vehicle has not been recovered, but investigators believe Washington is driving a white 1994 Ford Explorer.
The California Highway Patrol issued a SigAlert at 9:43 a.m. closing the Peck Road offramp to the westbound Pomona (60) Freeway, but by 3:45 p.m., the offramp was expected to reopen pending removal of a vehicle.
Darnell Washington is black, 6 feet 2 inches tall and weighs 197 pounds. He has a tattoo of a cross with the words "by any means'' on his right forearm.
Tania Washington is black, 5 feet 3 inches tall and weighs 130 pounds.
Both suspects remain at-large and are considered armed and dangerous.