Suspected thief shot by off-duty officer in Nestor - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Suspected thief shot by off-duty officer in Nestor

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SAN DIEGO (CNS) - An investigation was underway Thursday into an officer-involved shooting in which an off-duty San Diego police officer shot at and wounded a 28-year-old suspected motorcycle thief in Nestor following a physical confrontation.

The officer heard a noise outside his apartment in the 1900 block of Avenida Del Mexico shortly after 9:30 p.m. Wednesday and went to investigate, according to San Diego police homicide Lt. Kevin Rooney.

He looked outside and saw two men carrying his 2008 Yamaha R1 motorcycle to the back of a dark colored minivan, Rooney said.

The officer -- a 3 1/2-year veteran assigned to southeastern San Diego -- then armed himself and ran outside, where he identified himself as a police officer and ordered one of the men to get on the ground, the lieutenant said, adding that the man dropped to one knee, then looked alternately at the officer and the minivan. The minivan's brake lights were on and the man -- later identified as 28-year-old Eduardo Gonzalez -- stood up and grabbed the officer, Rooney said.

The officer then pushed Gonzalez away and Gonzalez walked off, Rooney said, adding the officer followed, continuing to identify himself as a police officer while ordering Gonzalez to get on the ground.

Gonzalez then allegedly stopped, walked back toward the officer, cursing and grabbing at him before the officer again pushed the suspected auto thief away.

Rooney said Gonzalez then hit the officer before turning and placing his hands inside the midsection of his jacket.

"Believing the suspect was arming himself, the officer fired his weapon and struck the suspect," Rooney said. "The suspect walked away, and the officer called 911 and followed him until responding units took him into custody."

During the commotion, the minivan and the other suspect disappeared, along with the officer's motorcycle.

The dark colored minivan was last seen northbound on Interstate 5 from Palm Avenue, Rooney said, adding that a third suspect was inside.

Gonzalez was taken to a local hospital for treatment of a gunshot wound that was not considered life-threatening. He will be booked into county jail on suspicion of auto theft upon his release from the hospital, Rooney said.

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