Santa Cruz police are investigating a drive-by shooting that occurred near San Lorenzo Boulevard and Canfield Street Wednesday evening.
Witnesses flagged officers down around 7 p.m. to report the shooting. They told officers the occupants of a white compact car confronted three men in the parking lot of the Budget Inn Motel. The people in the car fired shots at the men and then took off northbound on Ocean Street.
Deputy Police Chief Steve Clark said officers recovered expended shells and five bullet strikes on the motel. The bullet strikes hit the motel's office and living quarters, all of which were occupied at the time. One of the bullets nearly missed an occupant who was watching television inside, but no one was injured, Clark said.
An officer attempted to stop the suspect vehicle but the driver failed to yield and eventually a pursuit ensued on Highway 17. Officers pursued the car for 13 miles and at one point, the driver crashed through a set of cones set up by a road construction crew.
Because of the extreme reckless driving and high rate of speed by the suspect, officers ended the chase.
Officers later found a 9 mm handgun and partially-loaded magazine in the front yard of a Grant Street residence. They believe the suspect or suspects tossed the gun as they took off.
The investigation is ongoing, Clark said.