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Deputy shoots carjacking suspect

A carjacking suspect was shot in Newman by a Stanislaus County Sheriff’s deputy Friday night after he fired at law enforcement in a botched attempt to flee.

The suspect, identified as Jason Benson Dingler, was hospitalized with life-threatening injuries according to the sheriff’s department.

According to the Stanislaus County Sheriff’s Department, Dingler burglarized a home in the 3500 block of W. Keyes Road in Keyes, where he stole a handgun. The burglary was reported at 3:45 p.m. Friday. Dingler allegedly used the weapon to carjack a truck at 5:31 p.m. in the 5100 block of Muncy Road. Six minutes after the carjacking, an employee of the One Stop Market in Grayson reported an armed man stole alcohol and fled. His description matched that of the carjacking suspect.

Jason Benson Dingler
Jason Benson Dingler was shot and wounded by Sheriff’s deputies after he shot at them Friday evening.

A California Highway Patrol officer spotted Dingler driving the stolen truck moving southbound on Highway 33 at 5:44 p.m. Multiple deputies joined in the pursuit to assist in an attempt to stop the driver, however, Dingler led them on a high-speed pursuit. Helping to track the suspect overhead was Air101, the Sheriff’s Office helicopter, as Dingler continued fleeing on Highway 33 at speeds up to 95 mph.

At 5:59 p.m., Dingler sideswiped another car as he passed it, causing the stolen pickup to leave the roadway and crash at the edge of an orchard near Lundy Road in Newman. The suspect ran from the pickup into the orchard where he shot at deputies multiple times.

The helicopter crew provided updates to deputies on Dingler’s movements through the orchard. At one point he was seen dropping onto his belly to fire again at deputies, missing them but striking a patrol car. For the next several minutes, he was observed holding the gun and drawing closer to the deputies.

As Dingler continued advancing, at 6:26 p.m. two deputies fired at him, striking him once. The bullet dropped Dingler and deputies continued issuing multiple commands for his surrender, but he remained uncooperative with the gun within his reach.

Deputies advanced on Dingler with armored vehicles and took him into custody 21 minutes later. They immediately began rendering medical aid until he could be transported to a hospital by an ambulance crew. Dingler was listed as being in stable condition on Monday.

The stolen firearm was recovered and believed to be the same used in the carjacking and market robbery.

The Sheriff’s Department Major Crimes Unit, Stanislaus County District Attorney Office, and administrative investigators were dispatched to the scene, a standard practice in officer-involved shootings.

Highway 33 was closed for more than 12 hours as the investigation progressed.

The driver of the vehicle which Dingler sideswiped complained of pain from the accident but declined treatment at the scene.

Dingler was charged with residential burglary, carjacking, burglary, assault with a deadly weapon, robbery using a handgun, evading a peace officer, hit and run, possession of a stolen vehicle, attempted murder, assault with a deadly weapon and being a prohibited person in possession of ammunition and a firearm.

— Jeff Benziger contributed to this report