Authorities Monday released the name of a police officer who fatally shot a 50-year-old man who fired off an assault rifle at a San Ysidro mobile home park, then pointed the weapon at officers.
San Diego police Officer Michael Martinez fatally shot Alfonso Cervantes after patrol personnel responded around 1:30 p.m. Wednesday to a report of gunfire in the 100 block of West Calle Primera, according to San Diego police.
Martinez, who has been with the department for 2 1/2 years, was the only officer to fire his weapon during the encounter, Lt. Matt Dobbs said.
Witnesses reported hearing gunshots and seeing a man walking through the mobile home park near the southern junction of Interstate 5 and Interstate 805 with what appeared to be a rifle resembling an AK-47, Dobbs said.
“The witnesses described the man as acting strangely and (reported he) appeared to be hiding from someone,” the lieutenant said.
Multiple residents also reported that the man had pointed the rifle at them during the initial incident, Dobbs said.
Officers cordoned off the area “as they developed a tactical plan to handle the incident as safely as possible,” he said. “At one point, the man approached the officers’ location and fired a round from his rifle. The man retreated behind a row of RVs and was again seen a few seconds later, still holding the rifle.”
Cervantes, who lived in the mobile home park with his wife and family, did not comply with orders the drop the firearm, according to Dobbs.
“According to a witness, the man raised the weapon toward the east — in the direction of the officers — and gunshots were again heard and the men fell to the ground,” Dobbs said.
Officers administered first aid until paramedics arrived, but Cervantes was pronounced dead at the scene, he said.
No other civilians or officers were injured, Dobbs said, adding that “a loaded assault-style rifle was found next to the man.”
The gunfire prompted a brief lockdown at nearby Willow Elementary School.
Anyone with information about the shooting was urged to call the SDPD Homicide Unit at (619) 531-2293 or Crime Stoppers at (888) 580-8477.
— City News Service
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