A parolee wanted by the Shasta County Sheriff’s Office is in custody thanks, in part, to an armed woman who came in contact with the suspect in the backyard of her Redding, California, home Monday morning.
Police initially received a call around 9 a.m. about a man who was standing in front of a residence acting bizarre and possibly under the influence of a controlled substance. When officers responded to the call, they came in contact with Dillon Lee Carmelo, a registered sex offender who is currently on parole for a weapons charge.
The bizarre behavior continued and, according to reports from a local ABC affiliate, Carmelo repeatedly acted as though he was reaching for a weapon, despite deputies having their guns drawn and issuing several warnings for him to put up his hands. Yet at some point, Carmelo fled, leading deputies on a foot pursuit through nearby fields and yards. However, authorities were able to track Carmelo’s movements because he was wearing an electronic ankle monitor.
As the chase continued, a reverse 911 call went out to local residents, warning them of the current pursuit and that the suspect should be considered armed and dangerous.
After receiving the call, Jennifer Doolittle retrieved her handgun and went to her back yard to bring in her dogs. But as she walked outside, she noticed Carmelo climbing over her fence.
The woman said the suspect advanced toward her in what she perceived as a threatening manner and made gestures as if reaching for a weapon. At that point, Doolittle fired several shots, striking Carmelo once in the ankle.
Sean Cierley was working at the house next door when authorities took Carmelo into custody. Cierley told the Record Searchlight that Carmelo continued to be combative, even with a K-9 tugging at him.
Carmelo was transported to the hospital for medical treatment and subsequently charged with resisting arrest and parole violations.
Doolittle was questioned by authorities, and although she said she acted in self-defense, the case will be turned over to the Shasta County District Attorney’s Office for review.
Doolittle did not realize she was firing towards the deputies who were in pursuit of Carmelo, but nobody else was injured.