SAN DIEGO — The San Diego Police Department on Thursday released video footage of the fatal shooting by two SWAT officers of a fugitive at the end of an 11-hour standoff at San Diego High School.
The images, captured aboard a patrol helicopter and by officers' uniform-worn cameras, depict the final hours of police encounters with 36-year-old Christopher Templo Marquez, a suspect in two recent South Bay shootings.
The special weapons and tactics personnel opened fire on Marquez when he appeared to threaten his girlfriend with a rifle as they took refuge in a commercial trash bin at the East Village campus on the morning of April 13, according to police.
Roughly 12 hours earlier, Marquez's 33-year-old girlfriend, Janeth Iriarte, allegedly refused to yield when National City police tried to pull her over as she was driving her boyfriend through the Southcrest area, near the intersection of Interstate 805 and South 43rd Street, SDPD Lt. Matt Dobbs said.
During an ensuing road chase that passed through various communities from Loma Portal to downtown San Diego, Marquez fired on pursuing officers in three locations -- near the intersection of Nimitz and West Point Loma boulevards, in the area of A Street and 10th Avenue and at the school where the fleeing driver ultimately pulled over, according to Dobbs. No one was injured in the shootings.
The final burst of gunfire from the suspects' vehicle prompted a National City officer to shoot back, according to police. It was unclear if Marquez was wounded by the return fire.
After Iriarte pulled to a stop on a football field at the campus, she and Marquez jumped out of the car and ran off, armed with a rifle and a handgun, and holed up in the garbage bin, Dobbs said.
Police crisis counselors tried through the night and into the following morning to get the couple to surrender but were unable to do so, according to police.
As the stalemate wore on, Marquez "became more agitated" and apparently finally "turned his anger" toward Iriarte, according to Dobbs.
"[Iriarte] attempted to escape from the dumpster on several occasions, but [Marquez] pulled her back in," the lieutenant alleged. "During the course of the negotiations, the woman surrendered [the] handgun in exchange for water."
Special weapons and tactics personnel, meanwhile, took up elevated positions that allowed them to see into the large trash receptacle and hear what the suspects were saying inside it, according to police.
"[Marquez] eventually made [threatening] comments and pushed [Iriarte] into a position where they believed he was going to shoot her," Dobbs said. "When the officers saw [him] maneuvering a rifle towards the woman, two SWAT officers fired their service weapons at the man, striking him."
Iriarte surrendered, uninjured. She was arrested on suspicion of auto theft, possession of a stolen vehicle and false identification, identity theft, and being an accessory to a crime after the fact.
Marquez's capture had been a high priority for local law enforcement agencies over the last month, during which he allegedly fired on a bail bondsman and police officers on separate occasions.
The first of the two firearm assaults occurred March 15 outside a home on East J Street in Chula Vista. It left the victim, a bounty hunter trying to take Marquez into custody on a felony warrant, with non-life-threatening bullet wounds.
The second shooting took place April 5, after police spotted a stolen car in a Jack in the Box drive-thru on Roosevelt Avenue in National City. Officers surrounded the restaurant and its parking lot and were trying to make contact with three people inside the vehicle when one of the passengers -- later identified as Marquez -- jumped out and ran off.
Moments later, the fleeing man opened fire on pursuing officers while bolting onto an onramp from East Seventh Street to northbound Interstate 5, prompting them to return fire, according to police. Marquez escaped by running across the freeway. That shootout resulted in no reported injuries.
According to the National City Police Department, Iriarte had been assisting Marquez the entire time he was on the run.