Deputy who shot robbery suspect in Encinitas identified

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A sheriff’s deputy who shot a robbery suspect that allegedly pulled a gun on him at the end of a pursuit through Encinitas was publicly identified Thursday.

Deputy Noah Zarnow, a four-year sheriff’s department veteran, shot Robert Thomas Parkin six times during the ordeal Monday morning.

Sheriff’s officials said Zarnow opened fire as Parkin drew a loaded .45-caliber pistol from his waistband, causing him to drop the weapon and fall to the ground, and again after the suspect began reaching for the dropped gun.

Parkin suffered bullet wounds to his legs and buttocks, along with a graze injury to his scalp.

The 53-year-old suspect pleaded not guilty to multiple felony charges, including assault on an officer with a firearm, during an arraignment at Scripps Memorial Hospital La Jolla Wednesday. He faces 26 years in prison if convicted.

The events that led to the gunfire began about 5:30 a.m. Monday, when Zarnow and other deputies responding to an armed holdup at the El Pueblo restaurant on Birmingham Drive spotted Parkin, who matched the description of the robber, riding a blue motorcycle in the vicinity of Santa Fe Drive and El Camino Real, about a mile from the eatery.

Parkin led deputies on a short pursuit before losing control of his motorcycle and crashing it in the 1700 block of El Camino Real, then attempted to flee on foot, Lt. Kenneth Nelson said.

At the site of the shooting, investigators recovered wads of cash believed to have been stolen from the restaurant.

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