San Diego police vehicles gathered at scene of Mountain View shooting of man with curtain rod
San Diego police vehicles gathered at scene of Mountain View shooting of man with curtain rod. Image via OnScene.TV

Authorities Thursday publicly identified a man who was fatally shot by a patrol officer while allegedly charging police with a curtain rod in his hands in a Mountain View-area neighborhood.

Jose Alfredo Castro-Gutierrez, 39, was struck by at least one round when San Diego police Officer Isai Castillo opened fire on him in front of a home in the 300 block of South Pardee Street early Monday morning, said SDPD Lt. Matt Dobbs.

The events that led to the deadly encounter began shortly before 4:30 a.m., when a resident made an emergency call to report of acts of vandalism occurring at the residence just east of state Route 15 and north of Ocean View Boulevard.

Soon, other 911 callers began reporting a violent disturbance involving a person with a makeshift weapon at the same residence.

“The residents described the man’s behavior as paranoid and said he ripped a metal curtain rod from the window and began breaking windows and other objects in the home. … A neighbor also heard the commotion and called 911, reporting (that) it sounded like someone was being tortured,” the lieutenant said.

Officers responding to the disturbance parked a short distance away from the house where the violence was occurring to “gather the necessary resources to safely deal with the situation,” including backup personnel, a service dog and other non-lethal compliance tools, according to Dobbs.

As officers approached the residence a short time later, they were able to see Castro-Gutierrez inside through a front window, yelling and breaking things, the lieutenant said. They gave him repeated directions to exit the home peacefully but got no response.

As police began taking positions of cover in preparation for trying to negotiate with Castro-Gutierrez and de-escalate the situation, he suddenly crawled through a broken window, still clutching the metal pole, and went to a front gate on the property.

The suspect then allegedly sprinted toward the officers. In response, one of them shot a beanbag shotgun at him, another deployed an electric stun gun, and Castillo fired several rounds from his service pistol, Dobbs said.

Paramedics took the mortally wounded suspect to a hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

Investigators later determined that Castro-Gutierrez had been staying as a guest at the home where the fatal confrontation played out, Dobbs said. It was unclear what might have precipitated the suspect’s allegedly violent and destructive behavior.

Following an investigation of the case by the SDPD Homicide Unit and reviews by various oversight agencies, the District Attorney’s Office will determine whether Castillo, a two-year member of the San Diego Police Department, acted within the bounds of the law in using lethal force against Castro-Gutierrez.

— City News Service