Shoppers were no doubt shocked when a wounded man being chased by police showed up in Toys R Us
On Tuesday, December 1 at 12:53 p.m., San Jose Police officers responded to Thornwood Drive and Winfield Blvd. after a victim reported that he had located his stolen vehicle in the area, but still occupied.
According to the San Jose Police Department, “Officers arrived on scene, and at some point they located the victim’s stolen vehicle being driven in the area of Blossom Hill Road near Almaden Expressway.” It was then that SJPD patrol officer attempted to initiate a traffic stop on the vehicle. The man who was driving the stolen vehicle began to ram into occupied vehicles while driving in traffic.
The SJPD officer feared the suspect’s actions would injure other people or the officer himself, so he fired multiple rounds from his duty weapon at the suspect vehicle. The suspect fled the scene in the stolen SUV, and eventually stopped in the parking lot of the Toys”R”Us store located at 1082 Blossom Hill Road. The driver, Matthew Phillip Paz, exited the vehicle and ran into the Toys”R”Us store, where officers in pursuit were able to identify him as he was attempting to leave the store with an employee’s shirt, hiding a bullet wound he had received during the chase.
Paz, who is 21-years-old, was transported to a local hospital and treated for his injuries, which were determined to be a grazed gunshot wound. Paz was released from the hospital and processed at the San Jose Police Department. Paz was later booked into the Santa Clara County Jail for three counts of assault with a deadly weapon, felony hit & run, and auto theft. The officer was placed on paid administrative leave pending further investigation into the shooting.
The San Jose Police Department’s Homicide Unit is conducting the criminal investigation. The case is being monitored by the San Jose Police Department’s Internal Affairs Unit and the Santa Clara County District Attorney’s Office.
In the past three years, since he turned 20, Matthew Paz has kept Santa Clara County law enforcement busy. He has been arrested at least thirteen previous times, according to available arrest records. Beginning with an arrest on December 12, 2012, when he was charged with theft and petty theft, has has been arrested repeatedly on those charges, along with burglary, drug and paraphernalia possession, and warrants for missing court dates. He has been charged several times for possession or use of Toluene, a chemical solvent sometimes abused as an intoxicating inhalant, but with potential for neurological damage. In March of 2014 he was arrested not only for possessing Toluene, but for contributing to the delinquency of a minor.
Anyone with information about the suspect or his reported activities is asked to contact Detective Sergeant Raul Martinez or Detective Jorge Santiago of the San Jose Police Department’s Homicide Unit at 408-277-5283.