SAN JOSE -- A man driving a stolen car who rammed pursuing police cars and then accelerated directly toward an San Jose officer on foot was shot and killed Monday night, officials said.

Two unmarked police cars began following the stolen vehicle around 6:45 p.m., in the area of S. White Road in East San Jose, according to Sgt. Jose Cardoza of the Santa Clara County Sheriff's Office, which is handling the investigation because it ended in an unincorporated area of the city.

Witnesses described the cars traveling onto Woodhaven Drive at high speed before turning on Athene Drive, where the suspect put the car into reverse and backed into a police cruiser and a parked car.

"One of the officers got out of his car, and the driver accelerated toward him at a high rate of speed," Cardoza said. "The officer fired one shot, which wounded the driver."

Cardoza said he was taken to a hospital where he was pronounced dead. He could not confirm reports from witnesses who said it appeared the man had been shot in the head.

A second man who was in the passenger seat was taken in for questioning and is being cooperative, Cardoza said.

While the San Jose police cars were unmarked, Cardoza said they had turned on their lights and sirens and it "was clear the suspect knew he was being chased by police."

It was the second fatal police shooting by San Jose officers this month.


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On March 2, two officers shot and killed a man in Blossom Valley after a wild 20-minute car chase that moved off Highway 85 and onto residential streets.

Police said he had been waving a gun as they pursued him. That weekend, police in Hayward, Union City and San Francisco also shot and killed suspects who either tried to hit them with a car or threatened them with a gun.

Contact Eric Kurhi at 408-920-5852. Follow him at Twitter.com/erickurhi.