San Diego police OIS
Officers bend over the wounded suspect moments after a Sept. 28 OIS in San Diego. Photo credit: Screen shot, San Diego Police Department, via YouTube

The San Diego Police Department on Thursday released video footage of the shooting of a suspect during an exchange of gunfire that followed a brief chase south of Colina de Sol Park.

On Tuesday, police identified the officer trainee as Justin Hibbard, who shot suspect Jesus Medina Morales on Sept. 28.

Hibbard, who joined the force in January, is assigned to the department’s field training administration, according to Lt. Jud Campbell.

The department posted the six minute, 48-second video to its YouTube channel. It’s comprised of footage, sometimes graphic, from a University Avenue police substation and body-worn camera footage from a field training officer, along with audio of an officer’s discussion with a dispatcher.

Hibbard did not activate his body-worn camera during the incident.

Morales, 35, suffered at least two bullet wounds in the confrontation, near Rex Avenue and Shiloh Road, according to the police department.

According to the video, Morales was arrested on suspicion of attempted murder of a peace officer, being a felon in possession of a firearm and narcotics possession.

He also had an active warrant for his arrest, police said.

Morales has been arraigned on the charges, Campbell said, and is being held in the San Diego Central Jail. His bail was set at $3 million, according to booking information from the San Diego County Sheriffs Department.

The SDPD video outlines the events that led to the shootout, beginning at about 5:40 p.m. Sept. 28, when patrol personnel tried to pull over Morales’ motorcycle in the 5300 block of Lea Street. He allegedly had an obstructed license plate.

Police said Morales failed to yield and fled for several blocks before crashing the two-wheeler at Wightman and Ogden streets. Morales then allegedly fled, with officers giving chase.

A short distance to the north, at Shiloh and Rex, he allegedly pulled a handgun and shot in the direction of the closest lawman, prompting the officer to return fire.

The YouTube video includes audio of an agitated and breathless officer who can be heard yelling, “Shots fired, shots fired,” to a calm dispatcher.

According to the video, Morales “fired at least one shot,” and Hibbard then “discharges his service weapon multiple times.” The recording at the substation, located a block away, picks up one shot, then following a brief pause, approximately seven shots.

Later in the video, after the field training officer arrives, an officer can be heard yelling at Morales, who is seen lying on the ground and bleeding from his back while others try to cuff him.

Someone asks, “You OK, bro?” Another voice answers, “Yeah.”

Morales at one point says, “I can’t move my leg.” An officer tells him to “just stop moving.”

The video features a blurry still from a body-worn camera that, as the SDPD explains, shows Morales facing Hibbard and firing his handgun, with the officer trainee diving out of the way.

According to the video, Morales’ weapon – described as an unregistered “ghost gun” – jams, leading him to toss it onto the roadway.

No officers suffered injuries during the incident.

When the SDPD’s homicide unit completes its investigation of the shooting, the county District Attorney’s Office will review it to determine if the officer bears any criminal liability for his actions.

The SDPD’s internal affairs unit will investigate to determine if there were any policy violations, while the shooting review board will evaluate the officer’s tactics, Campbell said.

Campbell said the Commission on Police Practices is reviewing the shooting, while the FBI and U.S. Attorney’s Office are monitoring the investigation.

– City News Service and staff reports