Elk Grove, CA – April 20, 2015 – A repossession at an Elk Grove car dealership turned deadly Monday afternoon after police said a suspect pulled a gun on a Repo Man before taking his own life.
At approximately 2pm on Monday at Maita Chevrolet near Elk Grove Boulevard and Highway 99 Police said the suspect saw his truck was being towed. “The person associated with the vehicle pulled out a handgun and threatened the repo agent,” said Chris Trim with the Elk Grove Police Department.
After seeing the gun, the tow truck driver fled and witnesses called police. Police arrived within minutes and heard the suspect had gone inside the dealership still armed. “Our officers made a tactical approach and as they entered into the business they heard a gun shot.
They rounded a corner, and discovered the individual who had brandished the handgun at the repo agent was laying on the floor deceased from a gunshot wound,” “I mean you would never think something like this would happen at a dealership, you know, you’re coming here to just look at cars and, you know, there’s a shooting,” said Matt Eierman, a customer who had been at the dealership.
While customers were shocked by the events, some were even more surprised to see what officers removed from the suspect’s vehicle, several rifles, which appeared to be AR-15s.
Meanwhile, threats of violence against repo agents is often a hazard for those who work in the industry. “(I’ve had) a lot of threats, I’ve personally never had any weapons drawn on me. A lot of ‘Hey I’m going to get my gun, I’m going to shoot you,’” said Kris Spradlin, a repo agent who works for a different repossession company.
In more than nine years of working as a repo man, Spradlin said avoiding conflict is key. “As long as you’re professional, you shouldn’t have any problems,” Spradlin told FOX40. Spradlin said he can repossess a car in 10 seconds, without getting out of his truck.
“If the bank says you need to pick up the car, we have to pick up the car,” Spradlin said. While it’s unclear why the man who took his own life was at Maita Chevrolet in the first place, Spradlin said he often reclaims vehicles at dealerships because some people will try to sell or trade in vehicles they still owe money on.
“If I would of had a weapon drawn on me, I would have left the car. You can always find the car a different day,” Spradlin said. Managers at Maita Chevrolet had no comment on Monday’s incident.
Shortly after the shooting, the business re-opened.