Teenager jailed after fatal shootout

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SAN DIEGO — A young San Diego woman was in jail Thursday for allegedly taking part in a two-city spree of armed holdups and attempted murders along with an ex-firefighter who was shot dead two days later in a Halloween-night gun battle with police in Barrio Logan.

Cindy Altamirano Garcia, who turned 18 three weeks ago, was arrested at the scene of the shootout that killed her alleged accomplice, 40-year-old Philip Martin Hernandez, according to San Diego police.

Officers investigating Monday’s armed robbery and firearm assault series were following a white van occupied by the suspects shortly after 9:30 p.m. Wednesday when the driver pulled over on Harbor Drive, near Cesar Chavez Parkway, SDPD Capt. Terry McManus said.

Hernandez jumped out of the vehicle and allegedly began shooting at the patrol personnel with a rifle, prompting them to return fire. Struck by at least one round, the suspect turned, walked in front of the van, collapsed and died. Garcia then got out of a passenger-side door and was arrested.

No one but Hernandez was wounded in the volley of gunfire, though several of the suspect’s shots hit police vehicles, McManus said.

Both suspects were wearing law enforcement-style vests at the time of the shootout, according to McManus. Similarly, during the spate of armed holdups and shootings two days earlier, the perpetrators wore garments with law enforcement insignias and the word “police” emblazoned on them.

During one of the robberies, off-duty San Diego police Officer Les Stewart, 57, was shot from behind at a walk-up ATM in Escondido. He was hospitalized with a graze wound to his scalp and was expected to fully recover.

The daylong criminal rampage began about 2 a.m. Monday, when Hernandez, a former Riverside County firefighter, apparently riddled his own truck with bullets near Mission Bay for unknown reasons, then set it ablaze, according to police.

13 comments

  • ikemen

    I knew this person and I’m in total shock tonight. I’m lost for words to type on this site. The things I’m reading just seem unreal and it is very hard to wrap my mind around it all. The person I know would never do these things!!! What went wrong?

    • Marco

      Cindy was my ex since jr high. She was sexually abused by her father on a daily basis. She saw this man as her savior and a way out. She told me that her mother was in agreement with the relationship. The firefighter was helping the mother pay the rent. Cindy’s mother was also sleeping with the firefighter.

  • Arron

    He's my brother and we all thought he was still doing fine and on the Fire Department staff. Can't figure out how things went so bad so quickly. OMG!

  • Lisa Broderick

    I know Cindy’s family and she was raised by

    a loving mom and I can’t believe what she is

    accused of. I am in shock by it all.

    • Nationalcitygangster

      As her brother and it’s been hard on our family. My sister lost her lover. And now our family is on the verge of being evicted because my sister’s lover was a great man and helped my family pay our rent. I just recently got out of jail and he was a great help for me. I am shocked that he and my sister drove to Hillcrest to try to look for my lover. It hurts me that they couldn’t accept my sexual orientation. Please respect our family we are having a hard time financially. For those that are compassionate and understand our family hard times. Please join us and help raise money for my loving sister. Tonight at 1202 university ave, 92103 tonight at 10-2am

  • ikemen

    I’m talking about Philip Hernandez “Firefighter” the man I personally watched save others lives. A proud father and great friend and a loving brother and son!!! I can’t sleep at night just wondering…? How could I have maybe helped and maybe things would have turned out different. I will choose to remember the Firefighter and friend that I knew. RIP🙏

    • Guest

      Unfortunately, your friend shot my 20year old innocent friend 3 times and he is on the verge of death. My friend was completely innocent, no police affiliation, just one block from his house walking home. I have no sympathy for your loss, im sorry to say.

  • Lyrem

    Let's not show any concern for the victims but instead show shock and concern for the fine citizens, Cindy & Philip who are such noble and chivalrous characters. I'm sure the man, (police officer) who was shot in the head execution style and is in the hospital or the other victim who was shot and may not make were in the wrong, right? Just in the wrong place and at the wrong time.

  • anon

    Maybe they were not always monsters, but they nearly killed an innocent young man for absolutely no reason. His family has been praying for his life in the hospital ever since. There is absolutely nothing, no hardship or record of previous good deeds, that can ameliorate what they have done.

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