The man suspected of shooting a veteran Fremont police officer was arrested just feet from the U.S.-Mexico border checkpoint Saturday afternoon after police thwarted his last-ditch attempt to flee the country.
Police arrested Andrew Barrientos, 20, after a massive, 24-hour manhunt that stretched from Oakland -- where he's accused of shooting and critically wounding Officer Todd Young about 2:30 p.m. Friday -- to the Southern California border town of San Ysidro, along Interstate 5.
U.S. border patrol agents searched cars and had sealed the border at the request of Oakland police based on information that Barrientos would likely try to flee to Mexico.
"Everyone was on alert for this guy," Oakland police Assistant Chief Howard Jordan said.
A San Diego police sergeant spotted Barrientos with another man driving in a vehicle about 3 p.m. Saturday in the 5700 block of Camiones Way, a street that runs parallel to the border, said San Diego police Lt. Andra Brown. The officer, accompanied by the California Highway Patrol, pulled over the car. Barrientos made a last attempt to run from the officers toward the border. They chased him down and found a 9 mm handgun in his waistband, police said.
The same caliber weapon was used in the shooting of Young, Oakland police spokesman Jeff Thomason said, but the firearm has not been matched.
Oakland investigators plan to question Barrientos in San Diego, where he is in custody on suspicion of two counts of attempted homicide on a police officer and two counts of carjacking.
The driver of the car in which the suspect fled also was arrested, but police did not identify the man. Authorities also arrested a Union City woman for harboring Barrientos and helping him evade authorities after the shooting of the 16-year veteran of the Fremont and Newark police departments.
Young, a 39-year-old father of two, was shot twice in the pelvic area and rushed to a hospital, where he underwent surgery. He remained in critical condition in an intensive care unit Saturday evening, Fremont police Chief Craig Steckler said. Doctors postponed a second surgery to repair a damaged artery until Young's condition stabilizes, Steckler said.
"He's a fighter," the chief said. "But right now he has to get through this one step at a time."
The shooting has been traumatic for Young's family and for fellow officers, Steckler said. "They're not used to this," he said, adding that this was the first time a Fremont officer had been critically wounded while on duty.
As Barrientos was being taken into custody Saturday, East Bay police agencies knocked down doors and served warrants in Union City, searching for him.
The massive search focused on a Union City neighborhood. The vehicle suspected to be Barrientos' getaway car from the shooting was found near Tennyson Park in Hayward early Saturday morning.
During the search, Ines Mercado was evacuated from her Union City home by police.
"They just told us, 'You have to get out,' " Mercado said. "They asked, 'Do you know him?' "
As police scoured the neighborhood, Fremont Mayor Robert Wasserman released a statement, saying, "The citizens of Fremont and the City Council wish to extend our thoughts and prayers for Officer Todd Young and his family.
"The council wishes to extend our most sincere appreciation for the doctors and staff of Highland Hospital for the outstanding medical care that has been extended to Officer Young."
The shooting occurred Friday after two Fremont police officers tried to serve a search warrant on Barrientos. They found him outside a bungalow in the 2000 block of Auseon Avenue near Bancroft Avenue, Thomason said. It was one of several addresses at which Barrientos lived.
Barrientos fled on foot, firing a gun at both officers and hitting one of them twice, police said. After shooting at a driver and failing to carjack the driver's vehicle, Barrientos then fled on foot to a liquor store in the 8600 block of Bancroft Avenue, where he carjacked a green 1999 Mazda, Thomason said.
During his initial surgery, Young required 60 units of blood, Fremont police said. He is expected to need more procedures in the next few days and police are asking for donations to be made to the American Red Cross.
At the time of the shooting, Barrientos was on probation and was wanted on domestic violence charges.
Staff writer Ben Aguirre Jr. contributed to this story.
Injured Officer Todd Young may need blood for future surgeries and police are asking for donations. Anyone wishing to donate blood in Young's name is asked to call the American Red Cross at 800-448-3543 or their local blood bank.