Officers with the South Lake Tahoe (CA) Police Department were honored Thursday for their roles in the apprehension of a triple-homicide suspect on April 26, 2019.
The suspect allegedly wanted to kill more victims at South Lake Tahoe's Heavenly Village, making the officers' heroic actions that night even more important to the public's safety, according to Chief Brian Uhler.
At 9:40 p.m. on April 26, Officer Octavio Nava noticed a car matching the one on a "be on the lookout" notice from earlier in the day. That notice said triple-homicide suspect, Stefon Jefferson, was driving a black Toyota stolen from one of the murder victims. Jefferson allegedly shot and killed three men in Oakland, Berkeley and San Francisco before heading to Lake Tahoe.
Nava attempted to pull Jefferson over, but instead, the suspect led him on a high-speed chase into Nevada. The officer was joined by other South Lake Tahoe PD officers as they kept up the pursuit as the Douglas County Sheriff's Office was ahead, preparing to stop Jefferson.
Jefferson crashed the vehicle and engaged in gunfire with sheriff's deputies. One sergeant was shot in the hand and Jefferson was grazed by a bullet, then arrested, South Lake Tahoe Now reports.
The honored South Lake Tahoe Police officers were Officer Nava, Sgt. Nick Carlquist, Officers Matt Morrison, Johnny Spaeth, Linda Beltran, Jason Fritz, Grant Fagen and John Toderian.