Law enforcement officials are offering a $1,000 reward for information leading to the arrest of a man who they say shot a bounty hunter in March in Chula Vista and fired on National City police in the early hours of Monday morning.
Christopher Marquez, 36, is 5 feet 8 inches tall, weighs 190 pounds, has brown hair and eyes and should be considered to be armed and dangerous, police said Tuesday. He has a circular-shaped tattoo near his right eye and another tattoo around at the top of his chest. Investigators said he is known to frequent the area of South Bay.
Anyone with information on the case is encouraged to contact the National City Police Department at (619) 336-4411. Tips can be called in anonymously to Crime Stoppers at (888) 580-8477.
National City Shootout
Shots were exchanged around 2:30 a.m between Marquez, who was allegedly a passenger in a stolen vehicle, and National City police after authorities discovered the car at a fast-food drive-thru.
The incident began at a Jack in the Box drive-thru near 7th Street. There, officers spotted the car and decided to make a "high-risk vehicle stop." Before officers engaged with the vehicle, they called the fast-food restaurant to order employees to lock their doors and authorities moved all other cars in the area.
Afterward, National City police officers stopped the stolen car and said the driver and front passenger were compliant with their commands. The passenger in the back seat of the car, who NCPD identified Monday afternoon as Marquez, however, got out of the car and fled on foot.
Two officers chased after Marquez, police said. He headed toward the Interstate 5 on-ramp at 7th Street. Police said at that point he then turned around and fired "multiple" times at officers. Police returned fire as Marquez ran across the freeway.
It's unclear if Marquez was struck by gunfire or injured in his escape. The two officers who were shot at were not injured, according to the police department.
A manhunt got underway after Marquez fled -- investigators said they recovered a gun on the other side of the freeway -- with police officers using a drone to get a better view of the area in an attempt to locate him. National City Police Department Capt. Alex Hernandez said a K-9 unit and SWAT team were also deployed to assist in their search.
Police took two females in the car into custody. It's not yet clear what charges they may face.
Bounty Hunter Shooting
The incident involving Marquez's alleged shooting of a bounty hunter began on March 16 when bail-recovery agents attempted to arrest him at a home on the 600 block of East J Street in Chula Vista.
The agents told CVPD that one of the bounty hunters had been shot by the suspect in front of the home. Jesse Nuñez, whose partner is the wounded bounty hunter, said Marquez fired between seven to nine shots.
“He struck one of our partners in the left bicep and in the right leg,” Nuñez said. “My partner went down; the suspect fled on foot.”
The injured agent suffered non-life threatening injuries, according to CVPD.
The shooting prompted Chula Vista police to respond to the scene, including a SWAT team. At about 7 a.m., SWAT officers entered the home after obtaining a search warrant and found that Marquez was no longer there.
Marquez should be considered armed and dangerous and anyone who encounters him should immediately call authorities, the police department warned.