A Colorado man was behind bars Tuesday in San Diego for allegedly trying run down an officer with a stolen car at the end of a weekend road chase through El Cajon, prompting a police shooting that killed a woman riding in the suspect’s car.
The series of events that led to the fatal shooting of 25-year-old Kelsey Rose Hauser of Conifer, Colorado, began about 1:30 a.m. Saturday, when Sims was pulled over in the area of West Main Street and Walter Way in El Cajon.
Sims — who, in addition to Hauser, had two other men and a dog in the vehicle with him —yielded briefly, then drove off, heading north on Second Street and then west on Interstate 8 at speeds up to 90 mph, authorities said.
Officers with the El Cajon Police Department and the California Highway Patrol tailed the red 2014 Toyota Yaris hatchback as it exited the freeway at West Main Street and continued into the 300 block of South Pierce Street. Reaching a cul-de-sac, Sims pulled a U-turn and stopped again, said police Lt. Frank La Haye.
Moments later, the suspect allegedly sped toward El Cajon Officer Samson Pak as the lawman was getting out of his patrol car. Pak fired at least four rounds in self-defense, fatally wounding Hauser and the pit bull riding in the Toyota, according to police. Following the gunfire, the suspect’s car crashed to a halt into two cruisers.
Medics took Hauser to Sharp Memorial Hospital, where she was pronounced dead shortly after arrival.
Sims was arrested along with his two back-seat passengers, Brian Alan Blafield, 20, and 36-year-old Todd Zigler, both of El Cajon. Blafield was booked into county jail on drug possession charges. Zigler was questioned and released.
Sims was being held in San Diego Central Jail without bail pending arraignment, scheduled for Thursday afternoon.
Pak, who has been with the El Cajon Police Department for nearly three years, was placed on temporary paid leave, which is standard in cases of officer-involved shootings, La Haye said.
At the time of the pursuit, both Sims and Hauser were subjects of felony arrest warrants issued in Colorado, according to police officials, who did not disclose why the pair was being sought by law enforcement.
The compact car involved in the pursuit had been reported stolen in Denver last August, the lieutenant said.
— City News Service
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