A 41-year-old man was arrested Friday hours after he confronted former co-workers and fired a gunshot during an altercation at an industrial business in Rancho Cucamonga Friday, officials said.
The man, Pascual Ortega, was armed as Rancho Cucamonga police officers responded to the scene of the incident in the 9600 block of Feron Boulevard around 12 p.m., San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department officials said. Video from the scene showed officers responding to a Goodyear plant on the block.
Ortega entered an upstairs conference room where the business was conducting a safety training and began making violent threats toward his former co-workers, officials said.
The 41-year-old previously worked at the company and was terminated about two weeks ago, sheriff’s spokesman Sgt. Marc Bracco said.
A safety coordinator at the event saw Ortega reach for a handgun in his waistband. The safety coordinator grabbed Ortega as he grabbed the gun and fired a single shot. No one was struck, Bracco said.
The safety coordinator was able to pull the gun from Ortega, who then attempted to leave the business, officials said.
The safety coordinator chased the fleeing man down a flight of stairs. During the chase, Ortega pulled pepper spray from his pocket and sprayed the safety coordinator, who was able to keep control of the man’s firearm — a .22-caliber handgun that investigators later recovered, officials said.
Ortega was able to flee the scene in a vehicle but was later taken into custody after officers traced him to his brother’s residence in Baldwin Park, Bracco said. Ortega was found in the front yard and arrested.
The victim suffered minor injuries to his arm during the altercation. He was treated at the scene and did not need to go to a hospital, officials said.
“There’s heroes in our society that we never get to see until incidents like this call upon him,” Bracco said about the victim. “He just saved anywhere from 10 to 16 employees from being injured in that shooting.”