Police ID officers who killed man suspected in earlier shootings

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SAN DIEGO — Police identified the officers who shot and killed a man last week who investigators say was armed with a “ghost gun” and may have been involved in two earlier shootings.

Officers Gregory Bergman and Anthony Guerra, relatively new members of the San Diego Police Department with about a year of service each, were involved in the July 23 shooting that happened behind a City Heights fast food restaurant following a brief chase, SDPD said in an update Friday.

Police have also identified three men who were taken into custody from a vehicle involved in the incident: 20-year-old Cesar Wojcik Ramirez, 22-year-old Zachariah Villalva and 23-year-old Angelo D’Shaun.

All three of the men, along with the man fatally shot by police (earlier identified by authorities as 22-year-old Jesus Salvador Valeta), are suspected to be involved in an earlier shooting near Belmont Park around 5 p.m. that day.

It was a second incident, a shooting that wounded a man near University and College avenues in the El Cerrito area July 23, that drew police to the suspects that night, investigators say. A helicopter spotted a vehicle occupied by the four men shortly after that shooting and a police car pulled them over. Three men stayed in the car and were taken into custody, but Valeta got out and ran, according to SDPD, leading to the confrontation behind a fast food restaurant off El Cajon Boulevard.

Police say Valeta “disregarded several commands to stop and drop the weapon” but have not specifically outlined the moments leading up to the two officers shooting him.

Officers say he was holding a pistol that didn’t have a serial number — what authorities refer to as “ghost guns,” because they’re assembled from separate parts and unserialized, making them impossible to trace. Two more ghost guns were also found in the vehicle with the other three men, police say.

An investigation into the police shooting and a formal review process was ongoing Friday. The department’s homicide unit investigates all shootings involving officers, and that process will be followed by a review from the San Diego County District Attorney’s Office.

The city’s Internal Affairs Unit and Shooting Review Board to evaluate the officers’ tactics and determine if they violated any policies. The city’s Commision on Police Practices will also review the incident, and the FBI and U.S. Attorney’s Office have been notified, Dobbs said.

Anyone with information on any of the three shootings was asked to call the Homicide Unit at 619-531-2293 or Crime Stoppers at 888-580-8477.

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