Man shot by SWAT sniper suffers life-threatening injuries

SAN DIEGO - A 54-year-old man was hospitalized Friday morning with life-threatening injuries suffered in an officer-involved shooting in the Paradise Hills area of San Diego.

Police responded about 2:10 p.m. Thursday to a call from a woman in the 1800 block of Altamont Court who said her ex-boyfriend was acting strangely, then more calls came in from neighbors who said the man had pointed a rifle at a resident driving by and had possibly fired the rifle, according to Lt. Matt Dobbs of the San Diego Police Department.

Officers arrived at the residence and attempted to talk with the man, who had gone into the backyard and fired at least one shot, Dobbs said.

A SWAT team and crisis negotiators responded to the scene and the suspect, identified as Martin Girdner, confronted two SWAT officers while aiming a gun at them, Dobbs said. The SWAT officers, fearing for their safety, fired several shots at the suspect, who went down, then ran back into the residence.

About 3:45 p.m., the man walked from the rear of the residence and pointed a gun at officers, prompting three other SWAT officers to fire at the suspect, striking him at least once, Dobbs said. The suspect was taken into custody and taken to a hospital, where he underwent surgery for life-threatening gunshot wounds.

No officers were injured in the incident and the names of the officers who fired at the suspect were not released.

The standoff occurred near Paradise Valley Elementary School on Alleghany Street and teachers were directed to keep students locked in their classrooms as a precaution until further notice, said San Diego Unified School District spokeswoman Maureen Magee. Classes were dismissed at the usual time of 2:50 p.m. and campus police guided and escorted children out of the school to ensure their safety, according to Magee.

Anyone with information about this incident was asked to call the SDPD's Homicide Unit at (619) 531-2293 or Crime Stoppers at (888) 580-8477.

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