Suspect fired weapon at Victim, but weapon misfired
SANTA CRUZ—The Santa Cruz Police Department arrest 39-year-old Santa Cruz resident John Thomas, Jr. in connection with a Wednesday night attempted carjacking on Bixby Street in Santa Cruz. They also arrested his son, 21-year-old Santa Cruz resident Brandon Thomas, for possession of a loaded 9mm handgun.
On Wednesday, December 18, at 6:50 p.m., officers with the Santa Cruz Police Department responded to the 100 block of Bixby Street in Santa Cruz on a report of an attempted carjacking. When officers arrived they were contacted by a 46-year-old male victim with his wife and children. Officers were able to ascertain from the victim that he and his wife were delivering tamales to their son’s teacher when they were confront by Thomas. He was armed with a revolver, which at one point he used to bang on the window as he demanded entry into their vehicle.
The mother was able to grab her 3-month-old baby and flee from the car, while the male victim was being confronted by John Thomas. At one point during the confrontation, Thomas pointed the revolver at the victim’s chest and fired several times but the gun misfired each time.
The gun was later recovered and police learned that Thomas had loaded the gun with the wrong ammunition.
“Mr. Thomas had used .380 caliber ammunition intended for a semi-automatic hand gun.” Santa Cruz Deputy Police Chief Steve Clark said in a press release, “Since it was loaded into a revolver, the firing pin did not strike the bullet primer and the gun did not fire.”
A description of Thomas was broadcast city wide and he was located by other officers on the 300 block of Ocean Street. He was then taken into custody and positively identified as the suspect by the victim. Officers canvassed the area of Ocean Street and found the revolver that Thomas had discarded.
Officers learned that Thomas, in an attempt to leave the area, pointed the handgun at the occupants of a passing vehicle.
“John Thomas, Jr. is currently on parole for violent crimes in Santa Cruz.” Deputy Chief Clark added per the press release, “His history dates back to 1992 for various crimes of violence, he is a validated prison gang member. His history since his release from prison includes several arrests for violating his parole.”
Thomas was booked into the Santa Cruz County Jail on charges of carjacking, attempting Homicide, felon in possession of a firearm and violating his probation.
The next day, while officers were conducting a search warrant at Thomas’ residence on the 300 block of Soquel Avenue they were confronted by his 21-year-old son, Brandon Aaron Thomas, who was also detained and searched. Officers found that he was also in possession of a loaded 9mm handgun. Brandon was taken into custody and transported to the Santa Cruz County Jail.
Brandon joined his dad John at the Santa Cruz County Jail on charges of being in possession of a loaded firearm and participation in a criminal street gang. Brandon is a member of a gang in Santa Cruz. His bail was enhanced to 100,000 dollars.
Santa Cruz Patch: Santa Cruz Man Arrested in Attempted Carjacking, Murder: He Pulled the Trigger, but the Gun Didn’t Fire