SAN DIEGO — Authorities Thursday released the name of a lawman who fatally shot an assault suspect who allegedly charged him with a knife in his hand underneath a bridge near the Del Mar Fairgrounds.
Deputy Noah Zarnow, who has been with the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department for five years, opened fire on transient Emmanuel Ibarra on Monday afternoon during a confrontation in the 3200 block of Camino Del Mar. Ibarra, 34, was pronounced dead at a hospital a short time later.
The events that led to the shooting began just before 4 p.m., when a knife-wielding man attacked the manager of a Rubio’s restaurant in the 400 block of South Highway 101 in Solana Beach, stabbing him in the face and head, sheriff’s Lt. Greg Rylaarsdam said.
Prior to the attack, the victim had ejected the assailant from the business for being hostile and disruptive, according to witnesses.
Medics took the victim, 49-year-old Robin Rodriguez, to a trauma center, where he was admitted in stable condition.
Zarnow and another deputy investigating the crime soon spotted Ibarra, who matched the description of the assailant, near a stretch of train tracks beneath an elevated section of Via de la Valle in Del Mar, a few blocks south of the site of the assault.
When the patrol personnel called out to him, Ibarra walked out from behind a concrete bridge support with a knife in his hand and strode toward the deputy closest to him, Rylaarsdam said. As the lawman backed away, he lost his footing and fell.
Zarnow then yelled at Ibarra, who turned and charged him, still clutching the knife. Zarnow responded by opening fire on the suspect with his service pistol, wounding him multiple times.
Detectives documenting evidence at the scene of the shooting noted that the weapon Ibarra had been carrying seemed to be missing the tip of its blade, the lieutenant said. While treating Rodriguez, physicians removed what appeared to be the broken-off point of the knife from his head, according to Rylaarsdam.
Rodriguez was expected to make a full recovery.