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Suspect in pursuit that killed Chandler officer had past car theft conviction

(Facebook Photo/Chandler Police Department)

GILBERT, Arizona (AP) — Authorities say a man accused of using a stolen pickup truck to lead a deadly police chase in Pinal and Maricopa counties last week had prior convictions for vehicle theft and fleeing from law enforcement.

Jonathan Altland Jr. was previously convicted in Pinal County of unlawful means of transportation, drug paraphernalia and unlawful flight from a law enforcement officer, Gilbert police said.

Authorities say Altland led a chase Thursday that ended at a Gilbert car dealership where Chandler Officer Christopher Farrar was fatally injured and Gilbert Officer Rico Aranda suffered a head injury.

Authorities said the pursuit began near Eloy when Altland opened fire on the vehicle of an officer who tried to pull over Altland for speeding in a truck that was later discovered to be stolen.

Altland is accused of ditching the truck after crashing it into a fence, fleeing on foot, and using a vehicle at the dealership to strike Farrar and slam into a parked vehicle that hit Aranda.

Police say officers opened fire as Altland accelerated toward them.

Altland remains at a hospital Tuesday for treatment of his injuries, which were not life-threatening, police said.

It’s unclear whether an attorney has been appointed to defend Altland.

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