Photo by Alexander Nguyen

Authorities Tuesday released the name of a firearm- assault suspect who was fatally shot by police last week when he allegedly confronted them with a ghost gun at a Talmadge-area strip mall.

Two officers opened fire on Jesus Salvador Valeta, 22, near the intersection of El Cajon Boulevard and 54th Street on Friday evening, according to San Diego police. He was pronounced dead at a hospital a short time later.

The events that led to Valeta’s death began shortly before 9 p.m., when a 911 caller reported a shooting in the 5900 block of University Avenue in the El Cerrito neighborhood, Lt. Matt Dobbs said.

Patrol officers arrived to find a 29-year-old man suffering from gunshot wounds. Paramedics took him to a hospital, where he underwent surgery and was listed in stable condition. His name has not been made public.

Based on witness accounts of the shooting, an SDPD helicopter crew spotted a vehicle matching descriptions of one that sped off following the shooting. Officers pulled it over less than a mile from the site of the crime.

“Three suspects remained in the vehicle, but one ran from the car,” Dobbs said. “Officers and the helicopter crew saw the man with a gun in his hand. He disregarded several commands to stop and drop the weapon.”

Patrol personnel caught up with Valeta behind a nearby fast-food restaurant, where the suspect was fatally shot.

Three other suspects detained during the traffic stop have been identified as Cesar Wojcik Ramirez, 20, Angelo D’Shaun Shaw, 23, and Zachariah Villalva, 22. They were jailed on suspicion of murder — for Valeta’s death — along with robbery, firearm assault and criminal conspiracy.

The firearm that Valeta allegedly had been wielding and two others found in the suspects’ vehicle were kit-built polymer pistols lacking serial numbers — weapons commonly known as ghost guns that are popular among criminals because they are difficult to trace.

Investigators believe that the suspects were involved in another shooting in the Mission Beach area about four hours prior to the one that wounded the victim in the mid-city commercial district south of San Diego State University, according to the SDPD. No injuries from the earlier outbreak of gunfire near Belmont Park were reported.

The names of the officers who shot Valeta — each of whom has been with the San Diego Police Department for about a year — have not been made public.

–City News Service

Show comments