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Shots fired, militia member takes the law into own hands

Published On: Dec 24 2013 10:28:05 AM CST
Updated On: Oct 16 2013 11:28:17 AM CDT
Jim Haagenson
COTTONWOOD, Calif. -

A former law enforcement officer and current militia member pursued what he believed to be a stolen vehicle Monday night in an action that ended with “defensive shots” being fired into the ground.

Now, the Shasta County Sheriff’s Department wants members of the Northern California State Militia, to heed their warning.

"The militia has decided to be a little more aggressive, and last night was a perfect example of what can happen,” says Captain Mike Ashmun.

Jim Haagenson, a militia member and former parole agent, fully admits he tailed a stolen Toyota 4-runner.

"He was driving like he was in a stolen vehicle. He started doing weird things. People bailing out of his car in the middle of the street, speeding away with his lights off,” says Haagenson.

He says his wife was on the phone with dispatch while they were following the stolen truck.

The whole ordeal took about ten minutes.

That’s when Haagenson believes the suspect spotted him.

“He bailed from the truck. He was rolling in the street. The stolen truck veered off to the left and smashed into these people’s front fence,” Haagenson recalls.

That’s when he says he went after the suspect.

"He got up, he seemed dazed. But, he started coming towards me. I kept yelling ‘stop’ and ‘don't move’. He's still coming. So, I drew my weapon, and I’m pointing it at him and I’m thinking, ‘why is he still coming at me?’ In all my experience in law enforcement, that doesn’t happen. When you point your gun at somebody, they stop," says Haagenson.

And that’s when he says he fired his gun.

Shasta County Sheriff’s Investigators say he fired off between three and five rounds, all into the ground.

That action still worries Capt. Ashmun.

"It’s a danger to everybody, because if you're part of the militia and you're contacting someone and it goes bad and law enforcement arrives, we don't know don't know who is who,” says Ashmun.

Haagenson was able to get a description of the suspect, and hand that information over to investigators.

The subject is described as a Hispanic male adult, approximately 5-foot-8-inches tall, dark hair, wearing a black shirt and black pants.

Anyone with information regarding this case is asked to call the Shasta County Sheriff’s Office.