UPDATE 5/8/19 — Here are details from the MCSO, it was a robbery:
This situation is developing, and we are continuing to update. Please keep scrolling down for all the new info.
WILLITS, 5/7/19 — Law enforcement officers are pursuing a suspect in a car chase south on U.S. Route 101. The vehicle is described as a white Ford Explorer with a Confederate flag on the hood. There are apparently three men in the car all with hand guns, according to scanner traffic.
UPDATE 9:17 p.m. — As of 9:17 p.m. the dispatcher on the scanner appeared to confirm that the vehicle had turned around, and was heading north on the 101, approximately at the Howard Forest Cal Fire Station.
UPDATE 9:18 p.m. — The vehicle is stopped at the south end of the Willits Bypass.
UPDATE 9:24 p.m. — It now appears that at least one suspect is in custody.
UPDATE 9:26 p.m. — In these breaking situations, as we strive to get you information as quickly as possible and this often means reporting directly from the police scanner, as the situation develops and even law enforcement officials aren’t certain exactly what the situation is.
Currently what we gather from the scanner is that law enforcement have stopped a white Nissan four-door pick up, near the south end of the Willits Bypass, and detained one person from that vehicle — but that another vehicle remains outstanding, the aforementioned white Ford Explorer with a Confederate flag on the hood.
It is now presumed that that vehicle has continued south, and Sonoma CHP are being notified.
At least three people are being cited as “reporting parties,” that is, people who called law enforcement, but at this time it’s not clear what the initial cause of the chase and search were.
UPDATE 9:40 p.m. — The California Highway Patrol has confirmed for us that the initial incident that gave rise to the chase was a robbery and/or carjacking. It also appears that the suspects in the white Explorer are still at large.