Poway pursuit suspect died of gunshot wound

POWAY, Calif. – A Lakeside man suspected of carjacking an SUV and later dying after deputies opened fire on him during a pursuit through Poway was identified Friday.

San Diego County Medical Examiner's Office identified the suspected prowler as Trenton Lohman, 38, of Lakeside. The Medical Examiner's Office ruled his cause of death was a "thoracic gunshot wound."

A damaged SUV sits at the bottom of a dry ravine after a suspected carjacker led deputies on a chase through Poway on August 18, 2016.

A damaged SUV sits at the bottom of a dry ravine after a suspected carjacker led deputies on a chase through Poway on August 18, 2016.

Lohman was on active parole from the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation at the time of the incident,  authorities said.

The events that led to the fatal encounter began shortly before 5 a.m., when someone reported seeing a man peering into parked vehicles in a suspicious manner at an auto-repair shop in the 13900 block of Poway Road.

Shortly after patrol personnel arrived at the business to investigate, they radioed that shots had been fired and that a suspect had taken a sheriff's cruiser and was fleeing to the east in it, Lt. Kenneth Nelson said.

Deputies pursued the suspect to an area near the intersection of Poway and Espola roads, where he abandoned the stolen law enforcement vehicle. He then forced the driver of an oncoming black SUV to halt by pointing a handgun at him, ordered him out and began driving to the west on Poway Road, Nelson said.

Moments later, deputies confronted the suspect and fired on him again, and the stolen vehicle veered off the roadway and crashed into a ravine.

The sheriff's personnel found the suspect dead behind the wheel of the damaged SUV with injuries to his upper body. Inside the vehicle were several knives, a hatchet and loose handgun ammunition, Nelson said.

Detectives later found a pistol believed to have been the one the suspect had wielded.

Four deputies fired their guns during the incident, according to Nelson. Whether the suspect discharged his pistol, as well, remained under investigation Thursday afternoon.