Police chief: Gunman targeted officers taking coffee break

VALLEJO, Calif. (AP) — A gunman targeted two Northern California officers who were taking a break at a coffee shop in an ambush that was foiled when his gun malfunctioned, a police chief said Monday.

The man, who was wearing body armor, fled when he could not get his assault-style weapon to fire, and the officers gave chase, shooting him three times, authorities said at a news conference. He was in critical but stable condition.

Vallejo Police Chief Andrew Bidou said Adam Powell, 41, drove by the Starbucks shop minutes before he appeared in the doorway and “attempted to assassinate” the two officers. The officers were not injured because the weapon appeared to have jammed, authorities said.

Powell kept trying to “manipulate” the gun as he ran away, presumably to clear it, police said. He also was carrying a loaded handgun.

Bidou said officers around the country are on a heightened sense of alert. A series of shootings have targeted police nationwide, including in Dallas, Baton Rouge, Louisiana, and Palm Springs just a week ago.

“They were basically surprised by this gunman,” Bidou said of the two officers. They had been taking a break and “were ambushed by somebody who has superior firepower.”

Powell’s weaponry gave him “an extreme advantage over the officers, especially taken by surprise.”

Authorities said Powell had served prison time for robbery and drug-related offenses and was barred from possessing guns.

Bidou said Powell is the father of a 2-year-old boy who may have accidentally shot himself earlier Sunday in nearby Suisun City, about 50 miles north of San Francisco. The child was taken to a local hospital for a gunshot wound.

Preliminary information indicates the wound was accidental and self-inflicted. Powell was present when the child was shot and left the home before officers arrived, police said.

(Copyright (c) 2019 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)