Manhunt for gunman after off-duty deputy, bystander shot downtow - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Manhunt for gunman after off-duty deputy, bystander shot downtown

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SAN DIEGO (NEWS 8/CNS) - The sheriff's department says Jason Philpot is out of the hospital and recovering Tuesday afternoon as the search continues for the gunman.

Jason Philpot, 35, is an 11 year veteran of the San Diego County Sheriff's Department Emergency Services Division, which includes the bomb squad, arson and swat teams.

Witnesses say Philpot didn't hesitate to grab the gun away from a man who boldly showed it to off duty law enforcement officers.

On Monday, the off-duty lawman and a bystander suffered non life-threatening gunshot wounds during an encounter with an unidentified assailant near Petco Park.

The deputy tried in vain to wrest away the weapon, and during the struggle it repeatedly discharged, wounding him three times in the shoulder, Officer John Buttle said. A man walking nearby was injured in the arm by an apparent stray round.

Following the gunfire, the assailant -- described as a roughly 5-foot-10- inch, 165-pound black man in his 30s with shoulder-length dreadlocks -- fled to the south and east. The man, who was wearing black shorts and a long-sleeve shirt at the time of the shooting, remained at large Tuesday afternoon.

Medics took Philpot to UCSD Medical Center in Hillcrest. The other victim drove himself to a hospital, SDPD Lt. Ernesto Servin said. Both were expected to recover.

It was unclear what prompted the violence.

"We know there was a confrontation," Servin told reporters. "But what was said? We don't know exactly."

Investigators were reviewing images of the incident captured by surveillance cameras at several businesses in the busy downtown district two blocks south of Westfield Horton Plaza mall.

The assailant may have been with a companion at the time of the fracas, according to Servin.

"We think there may have been two (men), based on the video, but right now we're focused on the individual with the gun," the lieutenant said.

Police shut down the 500 and 600 blocks of Island and Sixth avenues to allow detectives to document the scene of the crime. Both stretches of roadway were later opened.

Servin noted that law enforcement officers are entitled to carry a gun while off duty, but said he did not know if any of those involved in the incident were armed.

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