SAN DIEGO — Police identified a man who was killed in a shooting involving law enforcement in the Clairemont neighborhood last week. He was also suspected of firing his gun and killing a K-9 police dog.
Benjamin Pickens, 33, was identified as the suspect, Lt. Joseph Jarjura with the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department (SDSO) said in a news release Monday. His cause of death is due to a gunshot wound while the manner is homicide, according to authorities.
“Per the Countywide Memorandum of Understanding, the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department Homicide Unit was called to the scene to conduct the officer-involved-shooting investigation,” Jarjura said.
The officer who shot the suspect was also identified as Addam Ansarie, who is currently assigned as a patrol officer in the Western Division and has been with the San Diego Police Department for 11 years, according to authorities.
Police on Aug. 2 initially responded around 1:23 a.m. about shots fired in the 3500 block of Ben Street. The shooting suspect, a passenger in a white Tesla sedan, drove away from the scene where no one was injured, per law enforcement.
When officers located the Tesla, they saw the suspect in the driver’s seat with a handgun in his hands. Police tried to pull the vehicle over but the suspect drove away.
The Tesla was found on the Mesa College campus, where the armed suspect left the car and ran on Mesa College Circle, the sheriff’s department said.
After multiple verbal commands, the suspect, who was non-compliant and acting erratic, “made multiple movements grabbing the gun with his right hand” from underneath his left armpit, per SDSO.
A K-9 officer then deployed his patrol canine partner, Sir, toward the suspect who rotated his body to the right and drew the handgun from his armpit.
“This prompted one officer to fire one round from his rifle, striking the suspect in the upper left area of his torso. The suspect also fired one round,” Jarjura said.
Pickens was taken to the hospital where he later died due to his injuries, police said. Sir was struck in the upper right chest and taken to a veterinarian clinic, but the dog also died from his injuries.
Anyone with information about this incident is asked to call the Homicide Unit at (858) 285-6330/after hours at (858) 565-5200. You can remain anonymous by calling Crime Stoppers at (888) 580-8477.