Authorities on Wednesday released the name of a Vista man fatally shot by deputies and federal agents on a Camp Pendleton-area freeway offramp while apparently trying to make them believe he had a concealed gun.
Daniel Robert Avila, 55, died at the scene of the shooting, which occurred early Tuesday afternoon following a nearly hour-long standoff on the southbound Interstate 5 offramp to Las Pulgas Road.
The events that led to the gunfire began about 12:30 p.m., when Avila allegedly pulled up next to an Orange County sheriff’s deputy conducting a traffic stop on another driver, aggressively made a comment about having committed a crime and claimed to have a weapon, according to San Diego County sheriff’s Lt. John Maryon.
Avila then parked and refused orders to exit his small white sedan, prompting the deputy to call for backup, Maryon said. More personnel from his agency responded, along with U.S. Border Patrol officers.
The suspect continued refusing to leave his vehicle until shortly before 1:30 p.m., when he got out, raised his right arm perpendicular to his body with a black shirt covering his hand and pointed it toward some of the surrounding law enforcement personnel, Maryon said.
When a deputy tried in vain to subdue Avila with a non-lethal projectile, the suspect paused for a moment, then held up his cloaked arm again. At that point, two deputies and three USBP agents opened fire on him, the lieutenant said.
The suspect turned out to be unarmed.
“It appears he used his (covered) hand to simulate a weapon,” Maryon said.
None of the law enforcement personnel were injured.
The names of the personnel who fired on Avila will be released on a later date, according to Maryon.
— City News Service
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