Antioch man found guilty of attempted murder of two Antioch Police Officers

Mario Serrano. Herald file photo.

Shot one officer in the head

By Scott Alonso, Public Information Officer, Office the Contra Costa County District Attorney

On February 6, a Contra Costa County jury found defendant Mario Serrano of Antioch guilty of 13 counts, including the attempted murder of two Antioch Police Department officers, Thomas Smith and Scott Duggar. Serrano used a stolen shotgun to fire at police officers after a high-speed chase on May 4, 2016. Officer Thomas Smith was shot in the head with birdshot as a result of Serrano’s actions. The jury found multiple enhancements true against Serrano, including that he was armed with a firearm and the intentional discharge of a firearm. The jury also determined that Serrano’s attempted murder of the Antioch officers was premeditated. (See related article).

Serrano now faces a possible life term in state prison. Sentencing will occur on April 12, 2019 in front of the Honorable Nancy Davis – Department 20 of the Contra Costa County Superior Court in Martinez. Contra Costa County Deputy District Attorney Kevin Bell prosecuted the case on behalf of the People. The case originated in the Office’s Community Violence Reduction Unit.

“I am thankful that defendant Serrano has been held accountable for his actions. He endangered the lives of many innocent civilians simply because he believed that his girlfriend was cheating on him. I also commend Officer Smith and Officer Duggar, whose bravery put an end to the defendant’s incredibly violent and senseless crime spree,” stated Deputy District Attorney Kevin Bell.

Serrano’s illegal activity started on May 2, 2016. He parked his car in the drive thru of a McDonald’s in Antioch to annoy his girlfriend who worked at that location. He later returned to the McDonald’s to smash the glass front doors with a lug wrench. After he left McDonald’s he went to the Mt. Diablo Landscape Center on the Pittsburg Antioch Highway where he doused his girlfriend’s car in gasoline and set the car on fire.

Between May 2 and May 4, Serrano broke into a house in Clayton off Marsh Creek Road. The residents were not home at the time. He ransacked the house and stole their shotgun and truck.

On May 4, 2016, in the early morning, Serrano drove the stolen truck and fired four shots at the same McDonald’s. One of the shot’s was fired into the Children’s Playland – no children were inside at the time of the shooting.

He fled the scene and drove to a residence in Pittsburg. He used the same shotgun to fire a shot through the window. Later that day Serrano carjacked a group of high school students and took a vehicle on Cummings Skyway and Franklin Canyon Road near Crockett.

Upon driving back to Antioch in the stolen car, police located the vehicle and began a pursuit. The pursuit continued into Pittsburg as Serrano fled from the officers. During rush hour traffic, Serrano crashed into a car at the intersection of Loveridge Road and East Leland Road in Pittsburg. After the crash, Serrano exited the vehicle with the shotgun and took a position of cover while he waited for officers to arrive. He began to shoot at the officers upon their arrival to the intersection. Serrano shot Officer Smith in the head with birdshot.

The guilty counts against Serrano found by the jury:

Count 1, Attempted Murder of a Peace Officer

Enhancement 1, Personal and Intentional Discharge of a Firearm

Count 2, Assault with a Firearm Upon a Peace Officer

Enhancement 1, Personal and Intentional Discharge of a Firearm

Count 3, Attempted Murder of a Peace Officer

Enhancement 1, Personal and Intentional Discharge of a Firearm

Count 4, Assault with a Firearm Upon a Peace Officer

Enhancement 1, Personal and Intentional Discharge of a Firearm

Count 5, Vandalism Over $400 in Damage

Count 6, Arson of Property of Another

Count 7, First Degree Residential Burglary

Count 8, Petty Theft Firearm (misdemeanor)

Count 9, Driving or Taking a Vehicle Without Consent

Count 10, Shooting at an Inhabited Dwelling

Count 11, Shooting at an Inhabited Dwelling

Count 12, Carjacking

Enhancement 1, Personal Use of a Firearm

Count 13, Fleeing a Pursuing Peace Officer’s Motor Vehicle While Driving Recklessly

Enhancement 1, Armed with Firearm

Case information: People v. Mario Guadalupe Serrano, Docket Number 05-171324-7

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