A man accused of shooting an off-duty sheriff’s deputy and a bystander during a confrontation near Petco Park following a Metallica concert must stand trial on assault with a firearm charges and weapon possession counts, a judge ruled Monday.
Ray Koloseta Pitoau, 38, faces 100 years to life in prison if convicted in the shooting last Aug. 7 of Deputy Jason Philpot and Vladimir Shvets.
Philpot testified that he and his two brothers left the concert after 11 p.m. on Aug. 6 and ran into some friends — including two off-duty Escondido police officers.
As the group left a bar and walked along near Sixth and Island avenues, Philpot said his younger brother Joshua grabbed his arm and said, “Help, help, he’s going to shoot me!”
The witness said he turned and saw the defendant holding a gun at his side. Philpot said he advanced on the defendant in an attempt to pin the gun to his side, saw a flash and heard three gunshots in rapid succession.
He knew he had been wounded in the chest and arm.
“I thought I was going to die,” Philpot testified.
Philpot said he chased Pitoau for about 20-25 yards but gave up when the defendant stopped to pick up something, possibly a gun.
Philpot’s brother testified that Pitoau said something to him as he was crossing Island Avenue behind his sibling and friends.
Joshua Philpot said that after Pitoau lifted his shirt and revealed a gun, his brother “jumped in like a superhero.”
Shvets said he was walking behind the altercation and was shot in the forearm, near the wrist.
Pitoau was tracked down and arrested in Tijuana about a month later and returned to San Diego.
Judge Kenneth So found that enough evidence was presented at the preliminary hearing for Pitoau to proceed to trial. A Superior Court arraignment was set for Feb. 13.
— City News Service
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