San Diego Sheriff's cruiser
A San Diego Sheriff’s cruiser. Photo by Chris Stone

The San Diego County Sheriff’s Department Monday identified the deputy who shot a suspect that allegedly threatened a man and deputies with a pellet gun and two knives.

Deputy Justin Williams has been employed by the department for 11 months and was assigned to the Vista Patrol Station, according to Lt. Thomas Seiver.

“As in all deputy involved shootings, the deputy in this case is currently on administrative assignment until he is cleared to return to full duty,” Seiver said, adding the case remains under investigation.

The suspect, Omar Rojas, was taken into custody at a local hospital on Tuesday, after allegedly threatening a man and sheriff’s deputies with a pellet rifle and two knives near a vacant building in Vista.

The victim called the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department after Rojas, 20, pulled a knife on him and then slashed his tires at around 12:30 p.m., officials said. Deputies said the victim had locked himself in his car for protection.

When authorities got to the scene, Seiver said Rojas fled into a nearby neighborhood; deputies later found him in the backyard of a home in the 1500 block of Kiva Lane.

During the confrontation, Rojas “armed himself with what deputies believed to be a rifle” and he was shot by a deputy, authorities said.

Seiver said deputies secured Rojas until fire personnel could arrive and provide medical aid. Medics took him to a local hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.

Deputies allegedly found a pellet rifle and two knives in the backyard where Rojas was shot.

They said it was later revealed that the pellet Rojas pulled out belonged to the residents of the backyard. Seiver confirmed the homeowners and Rojas had no connection, and the homeowners were not home at the time of the incident.

Rojas was arrested on suspicion of assault with a deadly weapon and felony vandalism and was being held in the Vista County Detention Facility.