Police identify man wounded by officer in Gaslamp confrontation


A San Diego police officer on Thursday, Feb. 25, 2021 opened fire on a man who authorities say was armed with a knife in the downtown area.

SAN DIEGO (CNS) – Authorities Tuesday publicly identified a man who was wounded by police gunfire last week when he allegedly pulled a knife on a patrolman while raising a ruckus and scaring off pedestrians in the Gaslamp District.

Stephen Wilson, 69, suffered at least one bullet wound in the shooting at Third Avenue and G Street in downtown San Diego on Thursday evening, according to police. He was hospitalized in stable condition.

The events that led to the gunfire began shortly after 7 p.m., when pedestrians flagged down Officer Kelly Besker of the San Diego Police Department near Horton Plaza and told him they had seen someone walking around with a knife nearby, police said.

The armed man, later identified as Wilson, allegedly was “creating a disturbance and causing pedestrians to leave the sidewalk and walk out into the street,” Lt. Andra Brown said.

“The officer contacted (Wilson), who was standing on the southeast corner (of the intersection) amidst a good deal of debris and holding a bowl of food,” the lieutenant said.

Though Besker warned him not to touch the knife, Wilson allegedly drew the weapon and threatened him with it. The officer, a 26-year SDPD veteran assigned to the agency’s Neighborhood Policing Division, responded by opening fire.

San Diego police homicide detectives were called in to investigate the case, which is standard procedure following law enforcement shootings in the city, whether or not they result in a fatality.

Copyright 2021 City News Service, Inc.

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