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Vallejo Police Officer Killed In Shootout With Suspected Bank Robbers

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Investigators at the scene of a Vallejo officer shooting (CBS)

Investigators at the scene of a Vallejo officer shooting (CBS)

VALLEJO (CBS 5 / KCBS) — Longtime Vallejo police officer Jim Capoot was shot and killed Thursday afternoon in a shootout with a pair of suspected bank robbers, law enforcement officials said.

Capoot served on the Vallejo Police Department for 19 years, during which time he received two Medals of Courage, according to police Sgt. Jeff Bassett. He also served previously as an officer in the California Highway Patrol and with the United States Marine Corps.

One of the alleged bank bandits was taken into custody following the exchange of gunfire with police, authorities indicated, while the other escaped and was the subject of a neighborhood manhunt by a police SWAT team.

Capoot responded to reports of a bank robbery at the Bank of America in Springstowne Center on Springs Road around 1:30 p.m., police said.

He spotted the suspect vehicle, a silver SUV, near the bank and a car chase followed, ending about 3 or 4 miles away in the 100 block of Janice Street, according to police.

Capoot forced the suspect’s SUV to spin out and chased a suspect on foot when he ran into a residential neighborhood, Bassett said.

KCBS’ Anna Duckworth Reports:

Responding officers who were following Capoot heard several shots fired and found Capoot wounded in a backyard, Bassett said.

Authorities indicated that Capoot died from his injuries after being taken by ambulance to Kaiser Vallejo hospital. The Vallejo Times-Herald newspaper reported that the deceased officer had suffered several gunshot wounds to the back.

Bassett said a suspect whose identity has not been released was taken into custody at or near the scene of the shooting and a search continues for other possible suspects.

“We have scaled back (the search),” Bassett said. “But we have not ruled out that there may be another suspect involved.”

officer james capoot 111711 Vallejo Police Officer Killed In Shootout With Suspected Bank Robbers

Officer James Capoot of the Vallejo Police Department was shot and killed following a pursuit on November 17, 2011. He served in the department for 19 years. (Vallejo Police Department)

Capoot was survived by a wife and three daughters.

Bassett said Capoot was very involved in the community in Vacaville and Vallejo, where he coached high school girls’ basketball.

“He’s a guy that’s loved by everybody,” Bassett said.

Bassett praised Capoot’s long career in law enforcement—prior to working in Vallejo, Capoot worked for the California Highway Patrol and served in the United States Marine Corps—and thanked the community for their outpouring of sympathy.

“We’re a small police department…we’re a tight family,” Bassett said. “There’s nobody in the police department who was not affected by this.”

The Peace Officers Research Association of California (PORAC) issued a statement saying the organization was “extremely saddened by the tragic death of this veteran Vallejo PD officer.”

The last time a Vallejo officer was shot and killed in the line of duty was April 12, 2000, when Officer Jeffrey Azuar died while trying to serve an arrest warrant.

(Copyright 2011 CBS San Francisco. All rights reserved.)

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