Saturday, October 28, 2006 12:27 AM PDT
JOSHUA TREE - After evading capture for several hours, a man accused of ambushing and shooting a sheriff's deputy Thursday night was arrested Friday in Twentynine Palms.

The county sheriff's department reports 30-year-old Adam Lee Lopez, of Joshua Tree, is being held in the Morongo Basin Jail on charges of attempted murder of a peace officer.

Deputy Adrian Garcia, the victim, was struck by multiple pellets from shotgun blasts. He was treated and has been released in good condition, a sheriff's department spokeswoman said Friday.

According to Sgt. D. Heller, a citizen called authorities at about 9:45 p.m. Thursday to report a domestic disturbance. The caller said Lopez was out of control and help from law enforcement was needed.

In response, Garcia was sent to the 66400 block of Giant Rock Road in Joshua Tree.

According to Heller, when Garcia arrived at the location, the deputy was ambushed by Lopez, who was lying in wait near the home.


Using a shotgun, Lopez fired four shots into Garcia's patrol car from nearly point-blank range, Heller said.

Struck by pellets, Garcia was able to back out of the scene.

The suspect fled in a gray 1991 Oldsmobile sedan.

Garcia was taken by ambulance to Desert Regional Medical Center in Palm Springs.

A manhunt ensued for Lopez, described as a man with blue eyes and shaved blond hair who wears several tattoos, including the words “Desert Empire” on the back of his head, the word “Sonya” tattooed on the side of his neck and the word “Lopez” tattooed on his back.

The search for Lopez and his girlfriend, Tonya Campbell, also wanted in connection with the shooting, ended Friday. Considered armed and dangerous, the two were apprehended in Twentynine Palms, a sheriff's department employee at the Morongo Basin jail said Friday night.