Police identify officers, suspect in deadly Oak Park shooting

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SAN DIEGO -- Authorities Monday released the names of two patrolmen and a suspect involved in an Oak Park-area foot chase and fight that ended in a police shooting that left the suspect dead.

San Diego Police Officer Devion Johnson opened fire on 31-year-old Toby Diller during a scuffle in a neighborhood west of Chollas Lake Park on Friday afternoon, Lt. Matt Dobbs said. Diller died at the scene.

The events that led to the gunfire began about 3:40 p.m., when Johnson and Officer Benjamin Downing tried to detain Diller in the 2900 block of 54th Street, according to Dobbs, who declined to specify the reason for the attempted pedestrian stop.

When approached by the lawmen, Diller allegedly bolted, running into the street and through a patch of shrubbery as they gave chase. On a nearby frontage road, Downing and Johnson caught up with Diller, who then began grappling with them.

"The officers gave him verbal commands to stop resisting, but he refused to cooperate," the lieutenant said.

During the struggle, Downing felt the suspect grab his service pistol and yank it off his belt, still in its holster, police said. The officer alerted his partner, who responded by firing a single round at Diller.

Investigators have determined that at the time of the shooting, the suspect was "struggling to control the gun" he had taken from Downing, Dobbs said.

Downing has been with the San Diego Police Department for five years, and Johnson for two.

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