Officials ID suspect in shootout with deputies, SWAT standoff

SAN DIEGO -- Authorities Saturday identified a man suspected of ambushing three sheriff's deputies at his home in a rural area near Casino Pauma and sparking an hours-long standoff late Thursday.

Jose Nieto, a 28-year-old Pauma Valley man, was arrested for three counts of attempted murder of a peace officer and three counts of assault of a peace officer with a firearm, San Diego County Sheriff's Lt. Rich Williams said.

Nieto was being held without bail, under guard at a local hospital while being treated for a gunshot wound he sustained during the standoff, and was expected to be arraigned this week.

The standoff began around 4:15 p.m. Thursday when deputies responded to a home in the 15600 block of Adams Drive in Pauma Valley after receiving a 911 call from a man who said he "needed help and didn't feel safe in his home." As three deputies approached the front door of the home, they were met with gunfire, Williams said.

The deputies returned fire, established a perimeter around the home and called for backup, including a SWAT team.

Nearby residents were evacuated from their homes and surrounding streets were shut down.

Authorities spent hours trying to establish communication with the gunman, but when that was unsuccessful, the SWAT team entered the home and found the suspect inside with an apparent gunshot wound to his lower body, Williams said. It was about 10 p.m. by the time the standoff was over.

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