Updated at 9:05 a.m., Sunday, June 24
Two San Diego Police officers were shot and wounded, one seriously, in a standoff at a condominium near San Diego State University that left the suspect dead Sunday.
One officer, a three-year veteran of the department, was listed in serious, but stable condition, at an area hospital. The second officer, an 18-year veteran of the department, was listed in stable condition.
Both men are expected to survive their injuries, said San Diego police chief David Nisleit during a 7:30 a..m. news conference at police headquarters.
Officers were dispatched about 10:15 p.m. Saturday to 4860 Rolando Court, Nisleit said, in response to a “violent disturbance” call.
“Officers got there and knocked on the door and got no response,” he said. “But at that time, smelled what they thought was fire.” Officers requested the fire department.
“Officers made a decision to open the door. Before they did that they, though, they knocked on the door and asked the occupant to respond.
“There was no response so the officers opened the door,” he continued. “Upon opening the door, they were met by gunfire.”
It was unclear if the suspect, who was found dead inside the apartment, was struck by police gunfire, Nisleit said. Two of three officers there shot their guns.
The San Diego Union Tribune reported that the suspect was a man in his 30s, who was wearing body armor.
“It is believed that he was probably lighting something on fire, but until we get inside and take a look at the apartment, we do not fully know that,” said Nisleit, adding that the caller to police “heard cursing being thrown about” possibly to a female.
A SWAT team had continued to confront the barricaded suspect in a standoff that lasted more than two hours. “We had to do quite a few evacuations,” Nisleit said.
Several residents from the nearby Tuscany Place apartment complex were evacuated during the standoff, but were allowed to return as of 2 a.m.
Nisleit said the department’s Homicide Unit was — at 7:30 a.m. — still waiting for a judge to approve a search warrant for the home.
Two Homicide Unit teams were at the location, said San Diego police Capt, Mike Hastings.
“This will be a long process throughout the day — maybe into the evening,” the police chief said.
Nisleit said the suspect has a “criminal history” and that police have response to the location “numerous times over the last several years.”
The name of the suspect will be released pending notification of next of kin, he said.
“Obviously,” Nisleit said, “You can imagine last night was a rough night for the San Diego Police Department.”
— City News Service