Updated at 12:30 p.m., Sunday, May 17

A San Diego Police officer was shot in her upper chest at a Kearny Mesa interchange today, and rushed by a fellow officer to nearby Sharp Memorial Hospital.

The suspect was shot dead, and police later learned his car might be linked to a series of shootings aimed at buildings in that area, including the Kearny Mesa headquarters of the San Diego Gas & Electric Company.

“Right now she is in good spirits, she sustained one injury, one gunshot wound,” San Diego police Chief Shelley Zimmerman told City News Service at Sharp Memorial, two hours after the shootings.

The SDPD policewoman was hit as two other officers exchanged gunfire with the man, after a high speed pursuit began at 7:40 a.m. today on the 805 and 163 freeways. The chase ended with the suspect bailing out of his silver Jeep on the 163 Freeway near a thicket of landscaping at the 805-163 interchange.

Acting homicide Capt. Mike Hastings told CNS the pursuing police had lost the Jeep, and the policewoman was one of several officers setting up a containment perimeter near the abandoned car, when the shooting occurred.

Officers chased the man in a footrace, and the man pulled out a handgun and fired at officers, hitting the female officer in the upper chest, Hastings said. It was not clear yet if the officer was the closest one to the man, the captain said.

The suspect was killed in the shootout, Hastings said.

Another SDPD officer used a trauma kit immediately, then loaded the bleeding officer into a squad car for the one block drive to Sharp’s emergency room.

Police quickly knocked down Internet rumors that Sharp Memorial Hospital was on lockdown or somehow involved.

The police chief said her injured officer has been in department for five years, and was a training officer with a rookie, who was not hurt.

The shot officer was going through a medical procedure, two hours after the shooting, and was talking and smiling, police officers told CNS in a hospital waiting room. But she was in a lot of pain, they added.

Police later learned the Jeep matched a vehicle connected to a psate of shooting vandalism cases on Kearny Mesa, including two such incidents at the SDGE headquarters building, a quarter mile away from the shooting scene, April 17 and May 8. Several other businesses in the area had been hit by gunfire, and SDGE had posted a $10,000 reward for information about the shooter.

A gray SUV, possibly a Jeep Cherokee, had been seen at at least one of the shooting incidents, SDGE officials had said last week.

— City News Service

Chris Jennewein

Chris Jennewein is Editor & Publisher of Times of San Diego.