San Diego Police officers at scene of shooting
San Diego Police officers at the scene of the shooting near Chicano Park. Courtesy OnScene.TV

A man fatally wounded at the end of a short vehicle pursuit by San Diego Police Department officers – the second killing by SDPD officers in four days – was identified Saturday.

The San Diego County Sheriff’s Department named the dead man as Christopher Dearman, 37. His city of residence was not released.

Dearman was driving a red Dodge Ram pickup when police attempted to stop him at about 11:30 p.m. Friday for a violation regarding his vehicle’s lights.

Officers conducting the traffic stop in the 1800 block of Logan Avenue contacted the driver, who suddenly sped away eastbound on Logan, said sheriff’s Lt. Chris Steffen.

The pursuit ended about two blocks later in the 2000 block of Logan Avenue, where the man exited the vehicle, allegedly armed with a handgun, and the shooting by police occurred, Steffen said.

“As the man fell to the ground the handgun dropped from his person. Officers ordered the man to move away from the handgun, but he did not comply,” Steffen  said. “A police K-9 was used to pull the man away from the firearm.”

Paramedics rushed Dearman to a hospital, where he died from his injuries.

The Sheriff’s Homicide Unit responded and was investigating the shooting.

“No officers were injured,” Steffen said. “There is body-worn camera footage of the incident.”

Video surveillance and other evidence collected at the scene indicate Dearman pointed a handgun at officers and fired approximately two rounds, Steffen said. One of those rounds hit the hood near the driver’s side of the officer’s patrol vehicle.

San Diego Police Chief David Nisleit mentioned the death of a Riverside County deputy who once served as a SDPD officer in response to the Barrio Logan shooting, along with other recent incidents in which law enforcement was targeted.

“Today, we laid to rest former SDPD Officer Darnell Calhoun, who was shot and killed while working as a Riverside County Sheriff’s Deputy,” the chief said. “Two weeks before, another Riverside deputy was shot and killed. One of our own San Diego officers was shot and saved by his vest just last month. A few days ago, a murder suspect pulled a loaded shotgun on San Diego officers. And just last night, two more of our officers were shot at during a traffic stop.

“These permissive state laws that allow repeat offenders to remain on our streets endanger our communities and the officers that serve them,” the chief said. “We must never allow this to become normal; something has to change.”

On Tuesday, authorities identified a murder suspect who was fatally shot by police when he allegedly reached for a gun during a confrontation outside his home near El Cajon.

Frank Brower, 77, died at the scene of the shooting in the 800 block of La Cresta Boulevard in the unincorporated community of Crest, according to the sheriff’s department.

The events that led to the deadly gunfire began shortly before 4 p.m. Tuesday, when the San Diego Police Department received a report of a violent dispute at a pharmacy in the 5500 block of Reservoir Drive, just east of San Diego State University.

Officers arrived to find the business locked, SDPD Lt. Steve Shebloski said. After forcing entry, they found 66-year-old Mary Ellen Carter of Lakeside suffering from stab wounds to her upper body. Paramedics took her to a hospital, where she was pronounced dead.

Investigators soon identified Brower, a workplace colleague of Carter’s, as the suspected killer and determined that he had left the area in a dark-colored SUV.

Police then went to his home on La Cresta Boulevard. They found Brower near his vehicle, which was parked behind his house.

“When contacted, the suspect failed to comply with instructions, prompting officers to (shoot him with) beanbag rounds, which had no effect,” Steffen said. “The suspect then reached for what appeared to be a shotgun from inside his vehicle.”

SDPD Officers Salvador Laurel-Torres and Robert Raynor opened fire with their service firearms, killing Brower.

– City News Service

Updated at 11 a.m. and 7:45 p.m. Jan. 21, 2023

Chris Jennewein

Chris Jennewein is Editor & Publisher of Times of San Diego.