(Two in custody)…One of them had been shot in the buttocks.
El Centro Police Commander Robert Sawyer says it all started early Tuesday morning. Police began receiving calls of shots fired at 6:47 in the morning. Police responded to the site, 6th and State Streets. The calls indicated two men had been arguing, and one of the men fired several shots with a handgun at the other man. The suspect reportedly left the scene in a white pickup. Officers and Detectives were able to identify the vehicle. Surveillance was set up at an El Centro residence. The suspect was identified as 20-year-old Mario Vasquez. He was seen leaving the residence, driving away in the pickup. Officers followed the vehicle, but they lost it in traffic. Vasquez and the vehicle were eventually detained by Mexican authorities as he attempted to cross the border into Mexico. The suspect was turned over to El Centro Detectives. At around 1:30 in the afternoon officers found the reported victim at 6th and State Streets. He was later identified as 33-year-old Johnny Lee Degeeter. The victim got into a vehicle and left the area. Officers attempted a traffic stop, but the man fled the vehicle in the area of 4th Street and Lenrey. Degeeter reportedly discarded a handgun, which was recovered by officers. A perimeter was set up in the immediate area with the assistance of the California Highway Patrol and Imperial Police. Schools were placed in lockdown. A yard-to-yard search was initiated. At 2:30 pm officers located Degeeter and he was placed under arrest. He was charged with resisting and delaying a police officer, felon in possession of a firearm and assault with a deadly weapon. He told officers he had been shot in the buttock, but a knife in his pocket deflected the bullet, and it did not penetrate the skin.