A man who allegedly shot and wounded a San Diego police officer following a car chase in a stolen vehicle pleaded not guilty Wednesday to charges that include attempted murder of a police officer.
Andrew Garcia, 21, was taken into custody on Monday morning after a nine-hour standoff at a vacant Mountain View townhome.
After allegedly leading police on a high-speed, hour-long pursuit that started in Barrio Logan, police say, Garcia abandoned the car in the Mountain View neighborhood and ran.
Officers chased after Garcia, who allegedly waited around the corner of an apartment building for the pursuing officers to appear.
When one of the officers rounded the corner, Garcia allegedly shot him once in the chest and twice in the arm with an unserialized “ghost gun.”
Deputy District Attorney Clay Biddle said in court that the officer, whose name has not been released, is recovering and “his prognosis looks good, but the long-term prognosis is unknown at this time.” The round that struck the lawman in the chest hit his bulletproof vest.
SDPD Lt. Adam Sharki said Wednesday that the officer has since been released from the hospital and is recovering at home.
After the shooting, Garcia then holed up in a building on South 44th Street, SDPD Lt. Steve Shebloski said. Officers surrounded the residence and called in a SWAT team.
In the late morning, officers conducting surveillance on the townhouse saw that the suspect was lying on the floor inside it, Shebloski said. Several SWAT officers went into the home with a police dog, finding the suspect unconscious, according to the lieutenant.
Biddle alleged that during the standoff, Garcia “ingested a lot of narcotics, possibly in an attempt to overdose.” He was given Narcan and revived, police said.
Garcia has been hospitalized since Monday and was arraigned remotely Wednesday afternoon from a hospital bed.
The prosecutor alleged that during his hospitalization, Garcia “told an officer who he was upset with, ‘I wish you were the one that turned that corner.'”
Along with the attempted murder count, Garcia is charged with assault on a police officer with a semi-automatic firearm, shooting at an inhabited dwelling, reckless evading, vehicle theft and being a felon in possession of a firearm.
He faces 43 years to life in state prison if convicted of all counts and will be held in custody without bail when he is able to be moved out of the hospital.
The prosecutor said that at the time of Monday’s events, Garcia was on probation for an East County case in which he fled from officers.
Updated at 5:12 p.m. Dec. 14, 2022
City News Service contributed to this article.