SAN DIEGO — A San Diego County sheriff’s deputy shot and killed a suspect during a confrontation in a parking lot near the border Saturday morning, police said.
The shooting happened at a busy Otay Mesa strip mall on Roll Drive near Siempre Viva Road at about 9 a.m., according to San Diego Police Department, which was also involved in the investigation.
Deputies spotted a reportedly stolen car in the shopping center parking lot and ordered three people out of the vehicle, according to San Diego Police Captain Rich Freedman. Two passengers exited the car safely before chaos broke out.
“The driver did not comply and actually backed his vehicle out of the stalls, colliding with numerous vehicles that were parked adjacent to it,” Freedman told reporters. Investigators say the driver also hit two deputies, knocking them to the ground.
“This prompted one of the deputies to fire his service weapon,” San Diego police later said in a news release.
The car drove on for a short distance, colliding with more vehicles before coming to a stop, Freedman said. Deputies pulled the driver out of the car and discovered that he had been shot. They gave him medical attention but he was pronounced dead at the scene, according to the captain.
At least one of the deputies who was knocked over by the crash received medical treatment for an injury but further details were not provided.
The 27-year-old killed by deputies was identified but his name was not publicly released.
The two passengers, a man and a woman, were questioned about the incident. Police did not say if they had been arrested. Officers also searched for surveillance video and interviewed witnesses in the parking lot.
Derain Cruz was inside a nearby 7-11 when the violence suddenly broke out in the parking lot.
“Out of nowhere I just heard gunshots,” Cruz told FOX 5. “I freaked out. I thought it was a shootout.”
“Cop was trying to pull him over and he wasn’t pulling over,” Cruz continued. “He kind of freaked out and started crashing with other cars and that’s what led the cop to shoot him, I think.”