homeless shot
San Diego Police officers investigate the scene in Chula Vista. Courtesy OnScene.TV

A homeless man is not expected to survive a gunshot wound to the head suffered during a confrontation with officers at an apartment building in Chula Vista, where he allegedly held a knife to the throat of another homeless man, authorities said Sunday.

Officers were dispatched at about 7:45 p.m. Saturday to the 600 block of Moss Street regarding multiple calls of two people possibly setting up camp in an apartment stairwell “banging on doors, yelling, and possibly using drugs or dealing with mental illness,” said Lt. Adam Sharki of the San Diego Police Department.

“When officers responded, they located one of the subjects in an apartment stairwell,” Sharki said. “As they contacted him, he moved a blanket from in front of him and revealed that he was holding another male hostage with a knife to his throat.”

Additional officers and resources were requested, which included a member of the department’s Crisis Negotiation Team who began negotiating with the suspect. The suspect continuing yelling at officers, threatening to kill the hostage and refusing to cooperate, Sharki said.

A K-9 officer, who was also a member of the department’s SWAT team, arrived at the location as the suspect continued to press the knife to the victim’s throat and not respond to the negotiations.

“The K-9 officer and a team of other officers climbed through a balcony to an apartment positioned to the side of the suspect,” Sharki said. “The K-9 officer unlocked and cracked the apartment door open. At that point, the officer fired his department-issued rifle at the suspect, striking him in the head.”

The hostage, a 34-year-old man who was currently homeless in Chula Vista, was able to get away and was taken to a hospital for non-life-threatening injuries to his neck.

“The victim did not know the suspect until today, when the suspect threatened him and forced him to come to the apartment complex,” Sharki said.

The suspect, described as a light-skinned male, approximately 6-feet tall, weighing 230 pounds with short brown hair, a beard and tattoos on his chest and arms, was rushed to a hospital, where he was not expected to survive the gunshot to the head.

No officers were injured during the incident.

San Diego police urged anyone with information regarding the incident to call them at 619-531-2293 or Crime Stoppers at 888-580-8477.

City News Service contributed to this article.