The Clairemont Drive postal branch where the shooting victim sought help. Photo credit: Screen shot, Google Street View

A shooting in Clairemont left one person seriously wounded Thursday afternoon and prompted a manhunt in the busy commercial and residential district.

The victim sought help shortly after 2 p.m. at the William Taft Post Office, 5052 Clairemont Drive, according to the San Diego Fire-Rescue Department. Medics took the patient to Scripps Memorial Hospital, the agency reported.

Shortly after the shooting, witnesses reported seeing a gun-toting man running through the neighborhood, possibly fleeing into an apartment complex off Cole Street, police said.

Officers shut down the 4300 block of Clairemont Mesa Boulevard, fanned out through the area and cleared staffers and about a dozen children out of nearby Northminster Preschool.

A SWAT team was called in to help locate and capture the shooter.

Police soon chased down a man armed with a gun and took him into custody for questioning, Lt. Shawn Takeuchi told reporters. The suspect’s name was not immediately available.

Since some witnesses believed a second armed man might have been involved in the events that led to the shooting, officers continued searching the area into the late afternoon, Takeuchi said.

As of 5 p.m., police had called off operation and were beginning to reopen the neighborhood. There were no immediate reports of additional arrests.

The youngsters who were evacuated from the preschool near the site of the shooting were taken to Clairemont Lutheran Church, about a block to the south, to be picked up by their parents.

“I can tell you the kids are all safe,” the lieutenant said. “We made sure of that.”

Updated 6:10 p.m. Feb. 4, 2021

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