National & World News

Ex-San Diego cop dies in murder-suicide

SAN DIEGO — Investigators sought Monday to determine what prompted a weekend murder-suicide carried out by a former San Diego police officer at his home near Washington, D.C.

David Draa (Facebook)

David Draa (Facebook)

David Draa, 30, is believed to have gunned down a friend before fatally shooting himself at an apartment complex on Flower Avenue in Takoma Park, Md., about 1:45 a.m. Sunday, authorities said.

It was unclear what might have led Draa — a one-time Camp Pendleton- based Marine who had been an officer with the San Diego Police Department for a year, beginning in July 2008 — to open fire on 30-year-old Steven “Kyle” Hickman, said Catherine Plevy, a spokeswoman for the Takoma Park Police Department.

Former SDPD Officer David Draa (Facebook)

Former SDPD Officer David Draa (Facebook)

Officers found both men dead on a driveway outside Draa’s home. They had been bike riding Saturday.

Detectives have concluded that Draa, who was employed as a special- education schoolteacher, shot Hickman shortly after 1:30 a.m., as the victim was kneeling over his bicycle, trying to fix a flat tire, according to Plevy.

“We believe that Kyle never knew what happened,” she said.

The two men were close friends and had been co-workers at one point, according to police.

“Kyle often was a sounding board for David during their friendship, and from family members’ accounts was trying to help David through personal issues,” she said.

One or both men apparently had been drinking prior to the shooting.

“We can only speculate as to why this occurred,” Plevy said. “We believe that David had experienced severe trauma during his tour of duty while serving in the Marine Corps, as well as some difficulties in his personal life. … It can only be speculated that possibly with the combination of alcohol and perhaps undiagnosed issues, he took his friend’s life.”

Draa had been “a respected and well-liked teacher,” she added.

SDPD spokesman Gary Hassen said privacy rules prevented him from saying why Draa left the department four years ago.


5 Comments to “Ex-San Diego cop dies in murder-suicide”

    CaliBuds> other buds said:
    February 25, 2013 at 8:46 PM

    Crazy, i just moved from san diego to the east coast!

    Thomas said:
    February 26, 2013 at 12:57 PM

    Another case of combat PTSD going untreated. One of the problems with seeking help is the stigma that it carries. We must choose which is more important; our self esteem and pride or our loved ones who must deal with this also. In my case, I chose the latter because my family is more important to me. Help is available for you my brothers and sisters. Put down the pride and get it before something like this happens. I love you all and thank you for your service to our country. God bless!

      Guest said:
      February 28, 2013 at 5:08 PM

      Thomas, David was seeking help through the Marine Corps and VA through the last five years regularly. I'm happy your treatment worked for you. Its not a matter of choosing.

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