Emergency personnel load the suspect shot late Tuesday night by sheriff's deputies into an ambulance.
Emergency personnel load the suspect shot late Tuesday night by sheriff’s deputies into an ambulance.
(AIO Filmz)
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Suspect who traded gunfire with police in Aptos had been free on bail after meth, guns seized in 2020

Eli Burry, 39, is expected to face several charges for weapons violations and violent felonies, according to the sheriff’s office, stemming from the incident late Tuesday.

The Santa Cruz County Sheriff’s Office has released the name of a Soquel man who was shot by deputies in Aptos late Tuesday in an incident in which deputies say the man fired at least one round while they attempted to detain him.

The deputies were investigating “a suspicious vehicle” in the parking lot of the Aptos Village Square shopping center in the 7900 block of Soquel Drive shortly after 10:50 p.m. Tuesday when they saw two people in that vehicle, one of whom was identified as Eli Burry, 39, according to a sheriff’s office news release.

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Burry, according to the sheriff’s office, had been free on bail while waiting for the resolution of a March 2020 case in which he faced narcotics and weapons charges stemming from an arrest at a Soquel residence.

On Tuesday night, “while speaking with him, deputies noticed Burry was armed with a handgun,” the sheriff’s office said in a Wednesday afternoon release. “As deputies were attempting to detain Burry, he fired one round from the firearm.”

One of the deputies fired several shots, striking Burry. Deputies immediately rendered medical aid and Burry was taken to a hospital. He is expected to survive, according to the sheriff’s office. The deputies and the passenger were not injured.

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Burry is expected to face several charges for weapons violations and violent felonies, according to the sheriff’s office. Several weapons were recovered at the scene, including the gun that deputies say Burry fired.

He had been previously arrested in Soquel on drug and firearm-related charges. He was out on bail at the time of this week’s incident, the sheriff’s office confirmed Thursday.

Burry’s March 2020 arrest stemmed from a search warrant detectives with the Narcotics Enforcement Team had served at a home in the 2700 block of South Main Street in Soquel where they found nearly one pound of methamphetamine as well as packaging and scales, according to a Sheriff’s Office Facebook post at the time.

A sheriff's deputy posts crime scene tape after the shooting Tuesday night
A sheriff’s deputy posts crime scene tape after the shooting Tuesday night in the parking lot of the Aptos Village Square shopping center.
(AIO Filmz)

Officers also recovered 17 firearms, including 2 firearms classified as unregistered assault weapons, 2 shotguns, a number of handguns and more than 5,000 rounds of ammunition.

At the time, Burry was arrested on charges including possession of narcotics for sale, possession of a controlled substance while armed and other weapons-related charges, and his bail was set at $1 million according to the Sheriff’s Office Facebook post.

The Aptos Village Square shopping center has been drawing police attention as of late. Sheriff’s office spokeswoman Ashley Keehn said in an email to Lookout that there have been “upwards of 20 calls for service in that specific area in the past few months, so our deputies will routinely patrol that area to make sure businesses are not being victimized.”

The Santa Cruz County District Attorney’s Office is investigating the officer-involved shooting. The body-worn camera footage, along with the deputies’ names, is expected to be released next week, the sheriff’s office said.

The sheriff’s office’s last officer-involved shooting came in 2018, Keehn said.

Updates:

12:01 PM, Apr. 08, 2021: This story has been updated with information about the suspect’s previous arrest and charges he faced.

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