HESPERIA An armed robbery suspect who fired at law enforcement officials was shot several times by sheriff's deputies Thursday night, according to witnesses and the San Bernardino County Sheriff's officials.


Before he was shot by deputies, Robert Marquez, 27, is suspected of holding up a 76 gas station on I Avenue near Main Street, according to Cindy Bachman, spokeswoman for the sheriff's department.


Marquez allegedly fired his weapon in the gas station when the clerk didn't move fast enough during the robbery, officials said.


After Marquez ran from the robbery scene, deputies began searching for Marquez with the help of a sheriff's helicopter.


Using the Flir, heat-sensing technology, Marquez was spotted in a field in the 18000 block of Deodar Street, just east of Peach Avenue around 7 p.m., sheriff's officials said.


While deputies tried to negotiate with him, Marquez allegedly fired at the deputies, who returned fire, striking Marquez several times, Bachman said. Marquez was then airlifted to Arrowhead Regional Medical Center.


Neighbor Christopher Guerrero, who lives across the street from the residence where the shooting took place and was unable to leave his home since, said that he heard several shots fired.


"I heard the boom, boom, boom and a bunch of flashes of light," he said. "It was pretty scary."


When the shots were going off, according to Guerrero, his wife and young son were coming home. Guerrero ran out to help get them into their home safely.


"I was worried about my wife and kids," he said. "I mean this was happening less than 40 feet from my house. I'm just glad we're OK, the people in the house are OK, and the guys doing their jobs are OK. But I think it's about time we maybe find another place and skittles out of here."


Marquez was arrested for attempted homicide of a peace officer and robbery.


Beatriz E. Valenzuela may be reached at (760) 951-6276 or at BValenzuela@VVDailyPress.com.