SAN JOSE -- A tense manhunt by scores of officers in an East San Jose neighborhood ended with the capture of a rooftop-leaping gunman who blasted his way out of a check-cashing store he tried to rob early Thursday, authorities and witnesses said.

The suspect, whose identity was not immediately disclosed, was caught and arrested around 11 a.m. after eluding capture for more than three hours by jumping fences and squirreling away in backyards along Cinderella Lane.

It made for a nervous few hours for residents in the neighborhood bounded by Story Road and South Jackson Avenue, who woke up to the sight of more than two dozen patrol cars flooding the streets to corral the suspect into a quarter-mile stretch with no way out.

It began about 7:50 a.m. as an employee was starting her shift at a check-cashing store in the 2100 block of Story, when a man entered, brandished a handgun, and demanded money. The employee activated an alarm, which police say may have caused the front doors to shut as a security measure.

With patrol officers closing in, the man, in a panic, fired at the doors, shattering the glass and giving him a way out, said Officer Albert Morales, a police spokesman.

"He got spooked," Morales said.

The officers actually caught sight of the man as he made a break for it and chased him into the neighborhood around Cinderella Lane.


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Within minutes, police dispatchers were fielding calls from residents getting glimpses of the fleeing man. Some reported seeing him in their yards, others said he was scaling their homes and jumping from rooftop to rooftop.

A huge battery of police was summoned, including motorcycle officers, police dogs and eventually the MERGE (SWAT) unit. Cars leaving the neighborhood were searched as they kept a tight seal around Cinderella Lane between Diana and Sunset avenues.

A house-to-house search by officers, who evacuated homes as they went along, ended with them spotting the gunman in a backyard in the 2000 block of Cinderella. Morales said the suspect resisted arrest, and upon his capture was taken to the hospital for minor injuries. Morales did not comment on what measures were used to subdue the suspect.

Morales said officers found the handgun they believe he used near the yard where he was caught.

The case is still under investigation. Anyone with information about the case can contact robbery detectives at 408-277-4166 or leave a tip with Silicon Valley Crime Stoppers at 408-947-STOP (7867) or with svcrimestoppers.org.

Staff photographer Gary Reyes contributed to this report. Contact Robert Salonga at 408-920-5002. Follow him at Twitter.com/robertsalonga.