San Diego PD

Suspect in custody in fatal shooting of San Diego officer

San Diego PD
San Diego PD

San Diego, Calif. — (NBC San Diego) A San Diego Police Department officer has died and another officer remains hospitalized after a late-night shooting during a traffic stop just south of downtown San Diego. Both officers are part of the force’s Elite Gang Unit.

The SDPD said one suspect was in custody shortly after the shooting, while authorities continued to search for other possible suspects.

At around 8:10 a.m. Friday, officers surrounded a home in San Diego’s Shelltown area — at 41st and Epsilon streets — honing in on another possible suspect.

SWAT officials could be heard calling out to someone inside the home, saying, “Come to the door. It’s been a long night.”

The sounds of dozens of flash bangs filled the air as the SWAT standoff unfolded.

At a press conference early Friday morning, SDPD Chief Shelley Zimmerman said the officers were conducting the traffic stop shortly before 11 p.m. Thursday in the 3800 block of Boston Avenue in San Diego’s Southcrest neighborhood when they were fired upon.

Shortly after stopping their car, the officers called for emergency cover.

Additional law enforcement officers swarmed the area. There, they found both officers suffering from gunshot wounds.

One officer, who suffered multiple wounds, was rushed in a patrol car to Scripps Mercy Hospital in Hillcrest. Doctors were unable to save his life.

The second officer was taken to UC Medical Center, also in Hillcrest, and is expected to survive. At around 3:30 a.m., the officer had come out of surgery and was recovering, the police chief said.

The mood at the hospital was somber as dozens of officers from all ranks came in and out of the building all morning. Zimmerman said the situation was simply heartbreaking for her police department. She stayed at the hospital, comforting the families of the officers.

Other SDPD leaders, including Asst. Chief Terry McManus and Capt. David Nisleit, also visited the hospital. As officers filed in, they greeted one another with hugs and pained expressions.

Zimmerman did not immediately provide additional details about the officers, but said the officer who died has a wife and two children.

The chief said the officer who survived has a wife and 19-month-old toddler. As of 7:15 a.m., Zimmerman told reporters the wounded officer was resting comfortably at the hospital, but was not awake yet following the surgery.

“It’s a long haul until he makes a full recovery, but the good news is that he is going to survive, and he is going to recover,” Zimmerman said.

With the preliminary investigation underway, Zimmerman would not say whether the shooting was an ambush or not.

But sources told NBC News the suspects are believed to belong to a local San Diego gang and there is no indication at this stage of the investigation that the officers were specifically targeted, as in recent incidents in Dallas and Baton Rouge that collectively claimed the lives of eight o

Following the shooting, police launched a manhunt for the suspects, combing through Boston Avenue and surrounding areas. A shelter-in-place was issued for the 3800 block of Boston Avenue and surrounding areas. The location is just west of where Interstate 15 and Interstate 5 meet, near Barrio Logan and Logan Heights.

During the search, officials took one suspect, who has not yet been identified, into custody. The suspect, who was found in a nearby ravine in the 1300 block of 38th Street, also suffered from a gunshot wound and was taken to UC Medical Center. No details on that suspect were released.


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