Pictured is an AR-15 style rifle that police say was discarded by a suspect who shot at a man after a thwarted car theft in Willow Glen in San Jose on Dec. 14, 2020. (San Jose Police Dept.)
SAN JOSE — Two people were arrested and a suspect was still being sought after they shot at a man who stopped them from stealing his car in Willow Glen, not knowing they had targeted a retired San Jose Police Department officer, authorities said.
The victim was not injured in the Monday afternoon encounter on Richland Avenue, according to San Jose police. After the arrests, police said, officers recovered a self-assembled AR-15 rifle composed of prefabricated parts that made it untraceable.
An investigation determined that the victim was dropping something off at a home on the Willow Glen street at about 4:30 p.m., and had left his SUV parked in the driveway with the door ajar. Three men driving by in a Jaguar sedan stopped, and one person got out and tried to drive off in the SUV.
But the intruder fumbled with operating the vehicle, and soon after the victim came back out and confronted him, and briefly chased him with the aim of grabbing him. The suspect ran off and got back in the Jaguar, which drove a short distance then stopped in the middle of the street.
That’s when a man emerged from the Jaguar, raised a semiautomatic rifle and fired two shots at the victim, Sgt. Christian Camarillo said. One round hit a neighboring home, piercing the garage and damaging a water heater. The second round was unaccounted for.
The Jaguar sped off again, but thanks to vehicle descriptions provided by the victim and other witnesses, the Metro special-enforcement unit spotted the suspects’ car about an hour later and approximately four miles away near Monterey Highway and Montecito Vista Drive. That touched off an attempted traffic stop and a pursuit that headed north for at least 10 miles and crossed into the city of Santa Clara, Camarillo said.
In Santa Clara, the Jaguar stopped and the man believed to be the shooter ran off, while one of the occupants stayed in the car and was arrested soon after. Camarillo said officers eventually caught the shooting suspect, and after retracing his steps discovered that he discarded the rifle in a dumpster.
A third man in the car eluded capture and is being sought, Camarillo said. The shooting suspect was identified as 43-year-old Travis Alexander Alcisto; he was booked into the Santa Clara County Main Jail on suspicion of attempted murder and is being held without bail. Police had identified him as a suspect in assault and weapons incidents reported in August and September.
The second arrested suspect was not immediately identified, but was also booked on suspicion of attempted murder, Camarillo said.
Anyone with information about the case can contact SJPD assaults unit Detective Kyle Dorris at 408-277-4166 or leave a tip with Silicon Valley Crime Stoppers at 408-947-7867 or at svcrimestoppers.org.