Officer Shoots, Kills Suspect on SeaWorld Drive

By Monica Garske and Brandi Powell
|  Sunday, Jun 2, 2013  |  Updated 11:56 AM PDT
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An SDPD officer shot and killed a suspect on SeaWorld Drive Saturday morning.

An SDPD officer shot and killed a suspect on SeaWorld Drive Saturday morning.

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An officer fatally shot a suspect on SeaWorld Drive in Ocean Beach Saturday morning, SDPD officials confirmed.

The officer-involved shooting happened around 9:30 a.m. in the 100 block of SeaWorld Drive near Mission Bay Drive.

SDPD homicide Lt. Jorge Duran says the ordeal began around 9:15 a.m. when a man and woman were walking home after grabbing coffee in the area. The couple allegedly saw a man with a gun in the 1700 block of Sunset Cliffs Boulevard and the suspect threatened to shoot the man.

The woman called police to report the incident.

SDPD officials say witnesses saw the suspect get into a silver Volkswagen sedan and drive north
Lt. Duran says responding officers spotted the vehicle and tried to pull the suspect over. Once the man had stopped, officers ordered him to put his hands in the air.

The suspect did not comply. Instead, officials say the man walked over to the passenger side of his car and began rummaging through his vehicle. He reached between the seats and pulled out what officers described as a brown and silver object.

Officials say the suspect allegedly raised the object and pointed it towards officers, as if it were a weapon.

Fearing for life, one of the officers closest to the suspect drew his duty weapon and fired at least one shot at the suspect, Lt. Duran said. The suspect was taken to a local hospital, but died from injuries sustained in shooting. His name has not yet been released, pending family notifications.

SDPD officials say a handgun was found inside the suspect’s car.

The scene was blocked off with police tape as police began their investigation, searching for evidence and interviewing witnesses. The suspect's vehicle was also stalled at the scene with its doors and trunk open. The vehicle had a broken window and several items were taken out of the trunk and placed on the roadway.

Following the shooting, there was a heavy police presence at the scene, including dozens of officers and multiple marked and unmarked police vehicles.

CHP officials helped with traffic control and issued a SigAlert due to the police activity in the area. As of 11:38 a.m., CHP officials said northbound Sunset Cliffs at Interstate 8 to West Mission Bay Drive would be closed for the next five hours. Get traffic updates here.

Witness Mike O'Malley told NBC 7 he saw the fatal shooting as he was driving to yoga. O'Malley stopped his car and recorded the incident on his cell phone, which was then given to detectives.

O'Malley said he heard the officer yell something at the suspect. Then, he saw the suspect get out of his car and hold both hands toward the officer, allegedly taking a stance as if he had a gun.

O'Malley said he saw the officer the shoot the suspect. The witness said a car door was standing between the suspect and officer, and they were approximately 15 feet away from one another.

"I had an anxiety attack," O'Malley said. "It was traumatic. I saw someone die."

SDPD officials say the officer involved in the fatal shooting is an 11-year veteran of the Department. His name was not released.

Witness Chris Leyva told NBC 7 he knew the suspect who was shot by police. Leyva said the suspect recently lost his job and was going through a lot of turmoil.

Check back for updates on this developing story.

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