This incident occurred around the same time that a tornado warning was issued for parts of Shasta County. Normally, for incidents like this, the California Highway Patrol Air Operations Division can assist in searching for the suspect with one of their helicopters. Because of the extreme weather conditions, the helicopter could not fly to assist in the search. Officers conducted an extensive search of the area on foot with the assistance of a police K-9 and an unmanned aerial vehicle (“drone”). At around 9:00 p.m., officers were forced to abandon the search due to poor conditions.
On May 24th, 2019 at around 7:00 p.m., Officers from the Redding Police Department responded to a burglary that just occurred. David Miles, 62 years of Redding, reported that a subject just entered his residence in the 5200 block of Cedars Rd, and stole a loaded shotgun. Miles confronted the suspect who, in turn, fled on foot, armed with the shotgun, and went into the heavily wooded area west of the location. The suspect was quickly identified as Gentry Ching, 40 years of Redding, through court documents that he left inside the victim’s residence. The shotgun that Ching allegedly stole was equipped with a pistol grip, a tactical light and tactical optic.
Officers Corrigan and T. Williams continued the investigation and remained in the area. At around 10:10 p.m. they began to see what looked like the tactical light of the shotgun moving in the woods west of Cedars Rd. Numerous officers responded to the area and with improved weather conditions, the CHP helicopter was able to launch and assist with a search for Ching. As officers converged on Ching, he fled west and eventually ended up near a City of Redding water tower at the south end of Altamont Ln. CHP pilots were able to guide officers to the area of Ching, who continued to flee from police. When officers got close enough to Ching, he confronted them with the shotgun. K-9 Otto was released by handler Officer T. Williams. K-9 Otto quickly apprehended Ching, causing him to drop the shotgun. Ching violently resisted both K-9 Otto and officers on the scene. He was ultimately taken into custody by officers.
Ching was arrested for burglary, exhibiting a firearm at officers, being a felon in possession of a firearm and ammunition, harming a police K-9 and threatening an officer. Ching was medically treated and booked into the Shasta County Jail.
Ching has an extensive criminal history. He has been convicted of assault with a deadly weapon, battery and resisting arrest.
The apprehension of Ching would have been far more difficult and dangerous without the assistance of the CHP helicopter. Their support was invaluable.