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Pittsburg police said Troy Aben Makanski, 30, of Oakley, shot a police officer during a foot chase Tuesday night. The officer and his partner fired back, striking Makanski, who was in stable condition Wednesday. The officer was treated and released for his injury. (Pittsburg Police Department)

PITTSBURG -- Body armor may have saved a police officer's life Tuesday night after he was shot while chasing a man wanted on drug and weapons charges.

The officer and his partner returned fire, wounding the suspect, according to Pittsburg police Lt. Ron Raman. The officer, a five-year veteran who was hit in the body armor covering his back, was treated at a hospital and released.

"The armor stopped the injuries from being more severe," Raman said.

The other officer was not injured.

The suspect, Troy Aben Makanski, a 30-year-old Oakley man with warrants for drug and weapons charges, was in stable condition Wednesday, Raman said.

The incident happened about 11:30 p.m. on Maple Street between 11th and 12th streets. Two officers tried to contact Makanski as he stood near a car in front of a house on Maple Street.

As the officers approached -- and before they had a chance to speak with him -- Makanski ran off. As he was running, he turned and fired a shot that struck the officer, Raman said. Both officers returned fire, hitting the man.

Raman would not say how many shots were fired, citing the ongoing investigation, but residents said they heard about a dozen shots.

The shooting is being investigated by the Contra Costa District Attorney's Office with the help of Pittsburg police, Raman said.


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Both officers will be placed on administrative leave, a standard procedure after an officer-involved shooting, Raman said. The wounded officer's partner is a seven-year veteran of the force, he added.

City leaders say the officer-involved shooting, along with the fatal shootings last month of two Pittsburg residents, a 20-year-old man and a 16-year-old boy in separate incidents, need to be put into perspective given that the city's crime rate is at a historic low.

"Due to the hard work of the women and men of the Pittsburg Police Department our city has in fact enjoyed the lowest crime rate" since police first began collecting statistics 55 years ago on a regular basis, Vice Mayor Sal Evola said. "It has taken a decade of hard work of our police department to get where we are today and (these) incidents in my opinion should not change that opinion, as long as there is a continuing commitment from city elected leaders to continue to fund public safety first in the budget."

City Councilman Ben Johnson noted that Makanski is an Oakley resident.

"The bottom line is he was visiting, he was here from somewhere else, and he didn't want to get caught and go back to jail," said Johnson, who added that police typically arrest at least five people a day in Pittsburg on various outstanding warrants. "Five times a day, 365 times a year, that's a lot of people we are getting off the street. We are proactive."

Residents of the neighborhood described a chaotic scene, with the gunshots ringing out, followed by dozens of police cars from Bay Area agencies flooding the streets.

"What really surprised me was the repeating gun sound," said Lori Larman, 60, who sat on her front porch Wednesday morning, wrapped in a blanket as she watched police at the scene a few houses down. "It's (usually) so quiet around here, the police don't have to patrol very often."

Larman and her husband, Jack, said they heard about seven shots, followed by a pause of about 30 seconds, then four to five more shots. Within a half-hour, they said, the street in front of their home was filled with police from Martinez, Danville, San Ramon, Richmond and other agencies.

Cesario Reyes, 45, said he heard as many as 20 gunshots. He also described the neighborhood as generally peaceful, saying the biggest problem may be that "sometimes people drive too fast when there's kids crossing (the street)."

Kim McAllister, 56, said she was in her bedroom watching TV when she heard the sirens. Soon, she said, a helicopter was overhead, with its spotlight fixed on her backyard.

"I said, 'Oh my god, they're chasing somebody, and they're in my backyard!'" she said, though the police soon focused their attention away from her home. "I've never seen anything like it. It was bumper-to-bumper police in front of the house."

Investigators were still probing the area Wednesday morning, focusing on the intersection of Maple and East 11th streets, taking measurements and searching the front yard of a home on the southeast corner of the intersection. Two cars were also towed from a location about half a block away, but police did not immediately say if they were evidence in the investigation.

Another person near the shooting scene was later found to have a warrant, and was arrested shortly after the incident, but that person was not involved in the chase or the shooting, Raman said.

Contact Daniel M. Jimenez at djimenez@bayareanewsgroup.com. Follow him at Twitter.com/DMJreports.