SAN DIEGO — A man is dead after shooting himself following a shootout with San Diego Police Department officers in Tierrasanta Saturday afternoon, authorities said.
San Diego County Sheriff’s Department PIO Amber Baggs spoke with FOX 5’s Liberty Zabala, confirming that the suspect, who has not been publicly identified, first threatened firefighters who had been called out to an apartment complex in the 11200 block of Tierrasanta Boulevard for a report of a fire.
Neighbors told Zabala that they could smell smoke coming from the man’s apartment and that firefighters had to break down his door in an attempt to get in and extinguish the blaze. Upon arrival at the scene, firefighters discovered the man brandishing a firearm.
“The first fireman in was greeted with the gentleman standing there, holding the gun and just turned around with this look on his face that I will never forget,” says witness Gregory Hahn. “You could tell he was terrified and just turned around and said to the rest of us, ‘run!’ and we all ran in different directions.”
Baggs said that after the firefighters broke down the door, the man came out of the apartment and started shooting at officers who were on scene. That’s when three officers fired back at the suspect, officials say.
Following this shootout, officials say the man fled to the parking lot where he fatally shot himself. The suspect was later confirmed dead at the scene.
The matter remains under investigation by officials with the San Diego Police Department and the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department.
Important note: If you or a loved one is feeling distressed, please remember help is available through the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255. It provides free and confidential emotional support 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. You can also call a loved one, member of the clergy or 911.