STOCKTON -- An early morning crash was so powerful, it badly damaged a Stockton patrol car and forced another vehicle on its side.
The only person inside the car, Titus Tabotabo III, died hours later, unable to recover from his injuries
“Some people get caught in the crossfire, but I just feel sorry. I didn’t know somebody had passed away,” neighbor Tony Gamez said.
Tabotabo's father told FOX40, the 28-year-old was on his way home from work about 2 a.m. Wednesday. At the same time, Stockton police investigators said officers near Wilson Way and the crosstown freeway in Stockton were running after two suspects after gunshots were heard in the neighborhood, two other officers were on their way to the scene to help.
Their patrol car’s lights and sirens were on and as they were driving eastbound on MLK when they collided with Tabotabo's car, which was headed north on Airport.
“They entered the intersection, there was another vehicle driving northbound and both collided,” Officer Joe Silva, a spokesman with the Stockton Police Department said.
Detectives are now looking at all of the evidence, hoping they can find out what led to the crash.
The California Highway Patrol and the San Joaquin County District Attorney will run its own investigation to determine who is at fault.
"Investigators are out here trying to determine the speeds, see if there’s any type of video evidence," Silva said.
For neighbors, this is a heartbreaking tragedy for all involved, including the two officers who were hospitalized for minor and moderate injuries.
“It’s sad for them also because they’re trying to do their job just the people that are dishonest they’re the ones that are causing problems for someone else,” Gamez said.
Investigators said the suspects from the initial shots fired call were not caught.
Stay with FOX40 for updates on this story.