A San Diego Police Department officer wounded this week when an auto-theft suspect opened fire on him in a Chollas Creek-area neighborhood is recovering from his injuries, SDPD Chief David Nisleit said Friday.
The lawman, whose name has been withheld, suffered a gunshot wound to the arm Thursday when the suspect opened fire on him in the area of Ogden Street and Shiloh Road, according to police.
“I’m very pleased to announce that the officer has been released from the hospital (and) is at home resting with his family,” Nisleit told reporters during a briefing Friday afternoon.
The shooter remains unidentified and at large, the chief said.
The events that led to the shooting began shortly after 11 a.m., when the officer spotted a stolen car being driven in the 5300 block of University Avenue and started following it.
A short time later, the suspected car thief pulled over, got out of the vehicle and ran off. During a brief foot chase, the fleeing man turned and fired on the officer, discharging several rounds, police said. The shooter then disappeared into the neighborhood.
The victim – who was recruited by the SDPD in July 2021 and has been on active duty for about six months – was hospitalized for treatment of a non-life-threatening injury.
For the remainder of the day, SDPD officers, including a SWAT team, and personnel from other local law enforcement agencies carried out an “exhaustive” search for the gunman, described as a bald-headed Latino who appeared to be in his 30s, Nisleit said.
The intensive efforts to identify and locate the shooter and get him into custody were “very much ongoing as we speak,” the police chief told reporters during the news conference Friday at downtown SDPD headquarters.
“This is a seven-24-type of investigation right now,” the chief said.
Detectives were looking for possible residential or commercial surveillance-camera video that could help identify the shooter and trying to find any associates of his or witnesses who could help police identify him.
“There’s no doubt in my mind that there are people out there in our community (who) know who this suspect is and know where (he) is currently,” Nisleit said. “So I’m asking you to come forward.”
The assailant should be considered armed and dangerous, the chief advised.
“This is a person that shot a police officer,” Nisleit said. “And if he’s willing to shoot a police officer, I guarantee he’s willing to shoot somebody else.”
While speaking in front of news cameras at the briefing, the police chief also spoke directly to the fugitive shooter.
“You need to surrender,” Nisleit said. “We are not going to stop searching for you until we take you into custody.”
City News Service contributed to this article.