ENCINITAS, Calif. – A SWAT standoff with a gunman who shot two sheriff’s deputies continued late Wednesday night, authorities said.
Law enforcement officers surrounded a house on the 700 block of Del Rio Avenue, near Leucadia Boulevard, shortly after 3:30 p.m. after two sheriff’s deputies were shot by a 22-year-old man, said San Diego Sheriff’s Captain Duncan Fraser of the Central Investigations Division.
Shots were fired at deputies searching for a man who had allegedly taken off in his mother’s car, Fraser said.
The mother of the suspect, who was reportedly angry about a recent restraining order she had filed against him, called the sheriff’s department about 1 p.m. and said her son had gone to her house and stolen her car, according to the captain.
The suspect returned to the home a short time later and went inside, Fraser said.
Several patrol deputies entered the home on the mother’s consent, found where the suspect was believed to have been hiding and established verbal contact, Fraser said.
“After several minutes of negotiation with him, which was unsuccessful, and because of some statements he was making they deployed less lethal tear gas,” Fraser said. “Unfortunately, the male returned fire, striking two deputies.”
The wounded deputies were evacuated and sent to hospitals. Members of the sheriff’s Special Enforcement Detail were the summoned to the area and had the home surrounded Wednesday night.
Crisis negotiators were in contact with the suspect, who was believed to be alone in the home, Fraser said. He urged the suspect to surrender peacefully and follow all instructions from the crisis negotiators.
“We need to resolve this peacefully, and soon,” Fraser said.
One injured deputy was initially taken to Scripps Memorial Hospital Encinitas with a leg wound, and later transferred to Scripps Memorial Hospital La Jolla.
That deputy was in stable condition and was undergoing surgery, Fraser said.
The other deputy was hospitalized with a glancing head wound, treated and released, according to Fraser. Neither deputy’s name was released.
About nine homes south of Del Rio Avenue were evacuated as a precaution, sheriff’s officials said. Del Rio Avenue was closed west of Leucadia Boulevard and south of Saxony Road.
A sheriff’s helicopter flew overhead and its crew made announcements, authorities said. Carlsbad police personnel assisted with the SWAT call. Oceanside and Escondido police also assisted.