The Coast News Group
The Escondido Police Department today is investigating the fatal shooting of a Hispanic male near the city's flood control channel. Photo courtesy of EPD
An Escondido police cruiser. Photo courtesy of EPD

Woman killed, another injured in Escondido pursuit crash

ESCONDIDO — A passenger in a pickup truck was killed and another woman was injured when the driver, a lance corporal from Marine Corps Air Station Miramar, crashed while being pursued by Escondido police after shoplifting from a sporting goods store on Monday night.

The driver, identified as 21-year-old John Eugene Brand, was arrested and jailed on suspicion of multiple charges, the Escondido Police Department said.

At about 10:28 p.m. Monday, officers responded to Dick’s Sporting Goods on Auto Park Way after reports of a man and two women stealing merchandise.

As officers arrived, the suspects entered a pickup truck and fled the scene, authorities said. Officers pursued the truck east through Escondido onto Washington Avenue, where the driver tried to make a high-speed turn onto Fig Street but lost control and collided with a retaining wall.

The two female passengers were ejected, and the driver ran away.

Both women were taken to a hospital, police said, where one was pronounced dead.

The second woman underwent surgery and was expected to survive. She told investigating officers that she asked the driver to pull over several times, but he refused to let her out of the vehicle, police said.

The names of the two women were withheld pending notification to their families.

Brand was arrested after officers allegedly found him hiding a block from the crash scene. He was taken to the Vista Detention Facility and booked on suspicion of vehicular manslaughter, kidnapping, evading police, hit and run resulting in death or injury, burglary and conspiracy.

The pickup truck Brand was driving belongs to the U.S. Marine Corps, officials said. Stolen articles of clothing were recovered from the truck, police said.

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