San Bernardino County Sheriff's officials say that 24-year-old robbery suspect Darnell Washington escaped from county jail on August 28 with the help of his wife, 25-year-old Tania Washington. And once they made their break from that nowhere desert lockup, they allegedly continued their spree in far-east L.A. County:
On Sunday morning, at the 7-Eleven on Peck Road in South El Monte, an L.A. County Sheriff's deputy came across a white SUV that had been involved in a robbery a few days earlier, according to the department. So the deputy tried to make contact with the driver, later identified as escaped inmate Darnell Washington -- but when he did, the suspect allegedly popped him with a shotgun.The injured deputy was rushed to a local hospital, and is thankfully expected to survive the gunshot wound.
But the suspects escaped once again -- and apparently didn't see a deputy-involved shootout as reason enough to halt their crime spree. Not wanting to leave in the white SUV, sheriff's officials say that Darnell and Tania then carjacked a different vehicle near the 7-Eleven. And after driving it to South Gate, they allegedly carjacked yet another vehicle, which they are thought to be driving currently.
Bonnie and Clyde's ride of choice? A light-blue minivan.
Reported KTLA in a video broadcast: "The suspects ended up fleeing on foot, carjacking multiple vehicles and ultimately got away in a stolen, light-blue 1996 Plymouth Voyager van, with a California license plate 3PHK484."
The L.A. County Sheriff's Department is urging anyone with any information on the Washingtons' whereabouts to call homicide detectives at (323) 890-5500.
Darnell's apparent Facebook page lists him as a graduate of Crenshaw High School in South L.A. and a former film student at Chaffey College in Rancho Cucamonga.
He also lists his favorite movie as Takers -- a "high-stakes action thriller" about a team of experienced bank robbers, starring hip-hop hitmakers T.I. and Chris Brown. More from the film's online synopsis, which reads like a glorified version of the L.A. County Sheriff's press release:
"After pulling off a spectacular series of brilliantly planned bank robberies, a notorious team of professional criminals attempts one last heist, a once-in-a-lifetime job with a $25 million payoff. And all that stands in their way is a cop hell-bent on doing whatever it takes to solve the case and bring the TAKERS down."
Darnell Washington is said to have a tattoo of a cross on his right forearm, accompanied by the phrase: "By any means." Indeed.