Exterior of El Cajon Police Department headquarters. Courtesy of the department

Authorities Friday publicly identified an auto-theft suspect who was wounded when a police officer opened fire on him during a confrontation in El Cajon.

Keith Crenshaw, 21, was sleeping in a stolen 2008 Kia Amanti in the 500 block of South Johnson Avenue when patrol personnel contacted him shortly before 9 a.m. Wednesday, according to El Cajon police.

When Crenshaw, an Arizona resident, awoke, he allegedly refused the officers’ orders to show his hands.

“The suspect continued to ignore the officer’s commands and stated something similar to `shoot me before I do it’ while reaching into his waistband,” Lt. Randy Soulard said. “Believing the suspect was armed, one of the officers on scene fired two rounds, striking the suspect at least one time in the torso.”

Though wounded, Crenshaw still refused to cooperate for a time, asking the officers to “kill me please,” but he eventually complied and was taken into custody.

The suspect, who turned out to be unarmed, was taken to a trauma center with stable vital signs. He remained hospitalized Friday afternoon, Soulard said.

Once released from medical care, Crenshaw is expected to be booked into county jail on suspicion of auto theft and resisting arrest. He also is being sought by the Arizona Probation Department in connection with crimes in that state, Soulard said.

–City News Service

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