Police have released new information about last week's massive manhunt that began in West Sacramento and ended with the fatal shooting of the suspect in Sacramento County.
Among the newly released details is the fact that authorities found out during the course of their search Friday that the suspect, later identified as 38-year-old Jimmy Lee Graves, had stolen a high-powered and "extremely dangerous" rifle from the machine shop where the manhunt began, said Sgt. Nathan Steele, spokesman for the West Sacramento Police Department.
The Remington Model 700 rifle is the same used by most police snipers, Steele said, and has a reach of more than 400 yards. It is a legal weapon often used for hunting.
Police later discovered Graves dumped the rifle a few blocks from the machine shop, and that he never had ammunition for it, Steele said. But before police had that information, Steele said authorities had to assume he was armed and capable of "catastrophe" - playing into their decision to keep Interstate 80 closed between Sacramento and Davis for six hours.
"I think that's important to get out to the public to help them understand the danger he posed out on the (Yolo) Causeway," Steele said.
Steele also released information about events leading up to the manhunt. Previously, police said the incident began when employees of a Harbor Boulevard machine shop arriving to work were fired upon by an unknown person inside the shop.
But Steele said police later learned that Graves had been accused in a shoplifting incident at a Walmart in West Sacramento. Security at the store called police to report a theft, and before officers arrived, Graves was able to get away, Steele said.
Police suspect that Graves ran to the Harbor Boulevard machine shop to the hide, then decided to steal the rifle, Steele said.
Steele also said police later learned that when Graves fired upon the arriving employees, he narrowly missed hitting one of them: One victim had a through-and-through bullet hole in his loose-fitting shirt.
"We're not talking about him shooting in the air," Steele said. "He was shooting at them and actually hit ... this guy's shirt."
Steele also clarified the sequence of events between the machine shop shooting and the point where officers lost sight of the suspect in the wildlife area underneath and around the causeway.
He said that upon fleeing from the machine shop, Graves carjacked a man's compact car at gunpoint. As Graves was driving away in that car, a passing police officer recognized the car from a description broadcast over the police radio and began to pursue it, Steele said.
Graves then jumped from the car, running with gun in hand and carjacked a pickup truck in front of the officer, Steele said. "Fearing for public safety and his own safety," the officer then fired at Graves, but missed.
The officer again was in pursuit of Graves when the suspect let go of the steering wheel, leaned out the truck's window and fired with two hands at the officer pursuing him, Steele said. The officer swerved and was not hit.
Shortly thereafter, Graves crashed the pickup truck and fled into the wildlife area, where he later hotwired a tractor and then carjacked another pickup truck. He used that truck to drive to Sacramento County, where he dumped the truck.
Police eventually identified Jimmy Lee Graves as their suspect after processing evidence from the scene of the second carjacking. There, the suspect had dropped his jacket, in which officers found a California driver's license belonging to Graves.
That night, sheriff's deputies received a tip that Graves was hiding in an Arden Arcade apartment complex. Deputies later shot and killed Graves after he began to barricade himself in a burning apartment unit.