SAN DIEGO —
A San Diego Sheriff’s Department deputy who was involved in the shooting of a man near the Central Jail on Friday has resigned, according to the department. Deputy Aaron Russell, 23, shot 36-year-old Nicholas Peter Bils near the intersection of B and Front streets after a foot chase near the San Diego Central Jail. Bils was pronounced dead at a hospital a short time later.
Russell’s resignation after 18 months with the department was effective Wednesday, according to Lt. Ricardo Lopez.
Bils and Russell were identified to the public Tuesday by authorities.
Bils, had been arrested by rangers with the California Department of Parks and Recreation for allegedly assaulting one of the agency's employees Friday and was being transported to the downtown detention facility when he managed to escape shortly before 6 p.m., according to San Diego Police Lt. Matt Dobbs.
As Bils ran off to the north, Russell, who was walking to work with a fellow deputy, saw him and gave chase along with his colleague. Moments later, Russell fired at least one round, mortally wounding the fleeing suspect.
No law enforcement personnel were injured in the incident. Exactly what prompted the deputy to open fire remains unclear.
Since the shooting occurred in the City of San Diego, the SDPD Homicide Unit was assigned to head the investigation into the circumstances that led to it.
When the probe is complete, police detectives will forward their findings to the San Diego County District Attorney's Office, which will rule on whether the use of deadly force was justified.