SPARKS, Nev. - A police officer who came upon a kidnapping suspect sexually assaulting a carjacking victim fired gun shots at the suspect, but he got away and remained at large Monday despite a massive manhunt.
As many as 50 law enforcement officers, police dogs, SWAT teams and two police helicopters searched late Sunday and early Monday for two suspects along Interstate 80 and the Truckee River east of the Reno-Sparks area.
More than 500 homes were searched and all vehicles leaving the Lockwood and Mustang area were stopped at police roadblocks Monday morning.
But the manhunt over rugged terrain was called off Monday afternoon when police concluded the suspects must have left the area.
''At this point they are closing down the command post, in effect ending the search in that area for the suspect,'' Washoe County Sheriff's Lt. Doug Gist said.
''The SWAT team had checked the entire area as have the helicopters from the air. Now, everything really reverts to a simple investigation by the Sparks Police Department,'' he said.
The two male suspects allegedly committed a carjacking and kidnapped a 21-year-old man and his 18-year-old girlfriend in a car that was parked at Pah Rah Park in northeast Sparks about 4:30 p.m. Sunday, police said.
The suspects threw the man out of the car as they drove down Vista Boulevard toward I-80 in Sparks and he telephoned police.
The woman escaped when the Sparks police officer came upon the car during the alleged sexual assault near Lockwood, about 3 miles east of Sparks.
The officer shouted commands but the suspect drove the car at the officer, Gist said.
''The officer fired several shots at the suspect, but the suspect continued on,'' he said.
Blood was found at the scene but it was not clear if the suspect was wounded.
The car was found abandoned in a ditch and the suspect last was seen fleeing the Lockwood area on foot toward the Truckee River.
Both victims are safe.
The suspects are considered dangerous and may be armed with a handgun.
The first suspect was described as a white male in his late thirties, about 6-foot-2 and skinny. He has long brown hair with a thin beard or goatee. He was wearing a baseball cap with blue jeans and a purple jacket.
The second suspect is described as between 5-foot-6 and 5-foot-10, wearing a black jacket with a red-hooded sweatshirt.