A policewoman wounded last weekend when a fleeing suspect drew a gun and opened fire in the midst of a foot chase in Clairemont Mesa went home from the hospital Tuesday.
Officer Heather Seddon will continue her recovery at home, according to SDPD spokesman Matt Tortorella, who said the five-year department member was grateful for the many messages of sympathy and support she has received from law enforcement colleagues and the public.
“She really appreciates all the outpouring of love and support,” he said.
On Sunday morning, Seddon and other patrol personnel were running after 34-year-old Dennis Richard Fiel of San Diego in a neighborhood just north of Sharp Memorial Hospital when he turned and shot her, prompting fellow Officers Joshua Hodge and Mario Larrea to return fire, Lt. Mike Hastings said.
Fiel died at the scene. Pending completion of autopsy results, police were uncertain whether police gunfire killed him or if he might have shot himself, Hastings told reporters.
Medics took Seddon to the nearby medical center for treatment of bullet wounds to her neck, where a round initially struck her, and shoulder, where it lodged.
The events that led to the shootout began shortly after 7:30 a.m., when police came across Fiel — a suspect in a months-long series of non-injury shootings in Kearny Mesa — as he was driving at about 90 mph in a gray late- model Jeep on Interstate 805, near Convoy Street, according to Hastings.
Refusing to yield, Fiel merged onto State Route 163 and continued on to the south for a short distance before exiting at Mesa College Drive, where the pursuing officers lost sight of his vehicle.
Police searched the area and soon found the Jeep abandoned in an alley off Annrae Street. They then spotted the suspect walking nearby, and he bolted when they tried to contact him, Hastings said. Moments later, the volley of gunfire broke out.
Fiel was a suspect in six shootings that have damaged windows on commercial structures, including a 7-Eleven store and a San Diego Gas & Electric office building, over the last four months. During a search of his home on Sunday, investigators found an assault rifle, ammunition and a large marijuana-growing setup, according to Hastings.
— City News Service
>> Subscribe to Times of San Diego’s free daily email newsletter! Click hereFollow Us: