A San Diego police cruiser. Photo by Chris Stone

Authorities Friday released the names of two patrolmen who fatally shot a firearm assault suspect last week, when he allegedly confronted them with a ghost gun at a Talmadge-area strip mall.

San Diego police Officers Gregory Bergman and Anthony Guerra shot Jesus Salvador Valeta, 22, at the commercial center near the intersection of El Cajon Boulevard and 54th Street last Friday evening, according to SDPD public affairs. Valeta 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.

Patrol officers arrived to find a 29-year-old man suffering from gunshot wounds, SDPD Lt. Matt Dobbs said. Paramedics took him to a hospital, where he underwent surgery and was listed in stable condition.

A short time later, police helicopter personnel spotted a vehicle matching witness descriptions of one that sped off following the shooting, and officers pulled it over a few blocks north of Colina Del Sol Park.

“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.”

Bergman and Guerra 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 murder charge is based on the felony murder rule, which holds a person responsible for a death that occurs during the commission of a felony.

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.

Bergman and Guerra have both been with the San Diego Police Department for about a year, Dobbs said.

–City News Service

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