Officer shot during search for suspect

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SAN DIEGO – A police chase in City Heights ended Thursday in a shooting that left a San Diego police officer hospitalized and the suspected assailant under arrest, police said.


Detectives were conducting surveillance of a documented gang member at a residence on the 3700 block of Wightman Avenue at 2:15 p.m., according to SDPD Capt. Terry McManus. An hour later, officers started to purse the suspect, who left his residences in a vehicle and with an unknown woman, and attempted to stop them on northbound Interstate 15 near Adams Avenue exit.

In an attempt to evade the pursing officers, the suspect and passenger ditched the vehicle at the end of the 3000 block of Central Avenue and ran into the canyon in different directions, McManus said. Officers from both Southern and Mid-City divisions chased the suspect westbound into the canyon where I-15 and I-805 intersect.

The shooting took place in a water drainage tunnel in the canyon at the end of the chase near 2800 block of 39th Street, near Azalea Park, around 3:30 p.m., the captain said.

About 15 minutes after the shooting, police took the suspected shooter into custody in the 2100 block of Haller Street, on the opposite side of state Route 15 and Interstate 805 from the site of the gunfire.


Officers transported the injured patrolman, who was wearing a bullet-proof vest, to Scripps Mercy Hospital where he will undergo surgery to be treated for a gunshot wounds to his chest, left leg and left arm, McManus said. The protective vest may have saved the officer’s life, according to McManus.

The officer was conscious and talking and is expected to make a full recovery, SDPD Chief William Lansdowne said.

Police identified the wounded patrolman as Officer Tim Bell of the SDPD Mid-City division.

Bell’s close relatives, including his wife and mother, were with him at the hospital as doctors prepared him for surgery, Lansdowne said.

OIS 39th Street Investigation

The suspect was named in a multiple-felony arrest warrant, but it was unclear what the crimes were, SDPD Detective Gary Hassen said. His name was unavailable pending booking.

Several agencies, including the U.S. Marshals, assisted SDPD in the search for the unidentified woman, who was taken into custody around 7:30 p.m., according to authorities.


California Highway Patrol halted traffic for an hour on Interstate 805 and 15 while authorities searched nearby canyons.

This story will be updated as information becomes available.


  • John

    Report at 4:00pm "1 to 2 dozen police vehicles on site" In one pan, I counted 77 marked Police vehicles. Does that seem like an "over-response".. Also: Closed 2 major freeways for 2 + hours after the primary suspect is in custody? Hint, the chick is not still in the area… Kinda embarrassing if you ask me.

    • esco

      It did look a bit excessive, especially when you see groups of 15 cops standing in one place talking and five different groups of them.

      • Jay

        Yes, because I'm sure the cops were talking about donuts and the weather as opposed to discussing tactical options for the current situation.

        • Drex

          The current situation was long over with, the officer shot was already at the hospital and the suspect was in custody. Meanwhile the freeway is clogged for 10 miles, the city is UNPROTECTED and it's rush hour. And yes jay, there's a time for the detectives to take over and the cops to get back on the beat. The sooner the better.

    • Jay

      Would you not want everyone available to help search for someone who shot you? Or shot one of your brothers in uniform? Who's to say that the suspect wouldn't have started shooting at civilians, or carjacked someone at gunpoint had those officers not been there?

        • Matt

          Drex, it sounds like you were listening to the radio dispatches, so you should actually know that the freeways were opened as soon as possible. Yeah, when we got the guy we all knew we had the right guy, but we would look pretty stupid if we just opened everything back up, closed our scene, and walked away with someone before confirming it was him for sure. Plus there was a second person (and possible threat) who was unaccounted for and the suspect's dropped gun, which is evidence and also a threat if picked up by someone that we just let walk or drive through the crime scene. It sucks that traffic was stopped and it really couldn't have happened in a worse spot where three freeways come together, but blame the bad guy for the mess, not the cops.

  • @homegrown_ master (insta)

    He drove right past me. There was a huge gap between the suspect and the cops. He literally drifted, counter steered like a formula drift driver and then floored it. Followed by 10 black and whites, then 4-6 unmarked suburbans. It was nuts.

  • Reden

    I wish they would respond in masses like that and shut down freeways when it's a civilian that was shot. They nearly shut down the whole city, goes to show we're second class citizens in this country.

  • Tom Alciere

    So he was known to be a member of a gang. So what? Some law against that? Prove they had a right to stop him in the first place or let him go and prosecute the cop that got shot. The Second Amendment wasn't written for the benefit of duck hunters. In a police state, police are the enemy.

    • FuqU

      The lawful definition of a gang makes it illegal yes. Pull your head out of your a$$, stop being a paranoid a$$wipe, and get over it.

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