CHULA VISTA, Calif. — A homeless man suspected of holding another man at knifepoint was shot by an officer Saturday, according to Chula Vista police.
Sometime after 7:45 p.m., officers received several calls about a disturbance going on between some homeless people.
The callers said two homeless people were possibly setting up a camp in an apartment stairwell, hitting the doors and possibly using drugs or dealing with mental illness.
When officers arrived at the scene, they found one of the homeless individuals at a stairwell, said San Diego police.
“(When) our officers responded they discovered one of the transients holding the other victim at knifepoint, with a knife to his throat,” Lieutenant Rusty Rea, from Chula Vista Police, explained.
Officers then tried negotiating with the male suspect, who is only being identified as being 6 feet tall, 230 pounds, with short brown hair, a beard and tattoos on his chest and arms.
San Diego police said additional officers had to be requested, one responding Chula Vista officer was a member of Chula Vista Police’s Crisis Negotiation Team.
Despite efforts to negotiate with the suspect, officials said he kept yelling at officers, threatening to kill the hostage and refusing to cooperate.
A canine officer, who is also a member of the SWAT team, eventually arrived at the scene and climbed through a balcony to enter an apartment positioned to the side of the suspect. He then unlocked and cracked the apartment door open, officials said.
Police said at that point, the canine officer shot the suspect in the head using his department-issued rifle. The hostage was then able to get away.
Right after the suspect was shot, officers began rendering aid to him until medics arrived. He was taken to the hospital, but police do not believe he will survive.
The victim was also taken to the hospital for non-life-threatening injuries to his neck. His identity has not been released.
No officers were injured during the incident.
San Diego police said the officer involved in this incident has been employed by Chula Vista Police Department for approximately five years. He is currently assigned as a canine handler.
The San Diego Police Homicide Unit will be taking over the police shooting investigation. Anyone with information about this shooting is encouraged to call the Homicide Unit at 619-531-2293 or Crime Stoppers at 888-580-8477.