Long road chase ends in police shooting - San Diego, California News Station - KFMB Channel 8 - cbs8.com

Long road chase ends in police shooting

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SAN DIEGO (CNS/CBS 8) - A 40-year-old motorist who refused to yield for a traffic stop Thursday led officers on a meandering hour-long chase that ended with him critically wounded in a fusillade of police gunfire after he allegedly brandished a handgun on a Mount Hope street, police said.

The suspect, who had a female passenger with him, sped off about 8:30 a.m. when a San Diego Police Department sergeant tried to pull him over on Grape Street in Oak Park for using a cellphone while he was driving, SDPD public affairs Lt. Kevin Mayer said.

While chasing the 2002 Saturn sedan, police determined that it matched the description of one linked to a shooting that wounded two men in a Mountain View-area neighborhood Monday night.

The fleeing man ran stoplights while passing through parts of Paradise Hills, Bonita and National City, Mayer said. At one point, he pulled over long enough to let his companion out, then sped off again. The suspect drove over several tire-flattening spike strips laid out in his path before finally slowing to a halt on 41st Street at Hilltop Drive.

During the chase, officers learned the suspect was in possession of a handgun, said Lt. Mike Hastings to the SDPD Homicide Unit.

"As the vehicle stopped in the 800 block of 41st Street, the suspect raised the gun towards officers," Hastings said. "Fearing for their safety, the safety of the public, and the safety of other officers, four San Diego police officers discharged their weapons striking the suspect."

Witness Frankie Martinez described watching as the barrage of police gunfire began, then jumping onto the ground to protect himself.

Medics loaded the wounded man onto a stretcher and took him to a trauma center.

The suspect was in critical condition tonight, Hastings said. His name has not been released.

"The suspect's firearm was located at the scene along with what is believed to be controlled substance(s)," Hastings said. 

The officers who opened fire have been with the San Diego Police Department for six, seven, nine and 24 years, respectively. They have all been placed on desk duty as the investigation continues, which is standard protocol.

Police also say they have located the female passenger who was riding with the suspect for part of the pursuit Thursday morning, before officers opened fire.

Authorities have not named her as a suspect and say she is cooperating as a witness.

Police closed lanes around the site of the shooting to accommodate the investigation.

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