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Pursuit ends with SUV in canyon, 3 arrested

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SAN DIEGO — A motorist opened fire on a pedestrian — but missed — while traveling through City Heights Wednesday afternoon, prompting a brief police chase that ended when the fleeing driver crashed his SUV into a gorge and made a failed attempt to escape on foot along with two cohorts.

A San Diego police detective who happened to be in the area shortly before 2:30 p.m. witnessed the non-injury shooting at Chamoune and Myrtle avenues, SDPD public-affairs Lt. Andra Brown said.

Following the gunfire, the driver of the white Chevrolet Suburban, who had two passengers with him, sped off to the south. Other officers caught up with the vehicle about a mile away, near the intersection of Home and Fairmount avenues, and tried to pull it over.

The man behind the wheel refused to yield, fleeing to the west into North Park, where he lost control and crashed the vehicle into a canyon off 33rd Street, near Grape Street, Brown said.

Officer fanned out through the neighborhood, capturing one of the suspects near the scene of the wreck and the other two hiding on residential properties along Felton Street. One of the men was taken to a hospital for treatment of injuries he apparently had suffered in the crash.

The arrestees’ names were not immediately available, and the motive for the drive-by shooting was unclear. Police recovered a gun at the scene.

Four schools near where the pursuit came to an end went into lockdown for about 45 minutes while police rounded up the suspects, Brown said.