Just after midnight on March 1, 2021, a two-officer California Highway Patrol unit was on Interstate 805 near Murray Ridge Road when they observed a red Acura MDX speeding and swerving in the traffic lanes. The ensuing traffic stop resulted in a brief pursuit and an officer-involved shooting.
Because the shooting occurred in the City of San Diego, investigators from the San Diego Police Homicide Unit were called to the scene to investigate. It is still early in the investigation, but we have gathered several facts from the preliminary investigation. When the California Highway Patrol Officers initiated their stop, the driver was directed to pull off onto Phyllis Street. There were two other passengers in the suspect vehicle. As the officers began approaching the vehicle, the driver made a U-turn and sped off. About that time, the officers were notified the vehicle had been taken in a carjacking in the City of Escondido. The officers pursued the vehicle for a short distance when the suspect driver turned northbound on Encino Avenue, a dead end street. The suspect vehicle made a U-turn as the officers exited their vehicle to initiate a high-risk vehicle stop. The driver of the suspect vehicle accelerated towards their patrol car, prompting both officers to fire their service weapons. The suspect vehicle collided with the patrol car as they tried to escape, pinning one of the officers between the door and the patrol vehicle. The officers attempted to follow the suspect vehicle but lost sight of it.
Responding officers located the vehicle abandoned in the 2200 block of Royale Crescent Court. There were no occupants in the vehicle, but a 17 year-old female was located nearby and was detained. A 21 year-old male was detained a short time later and was taken into custody. That male was identified by one of the officers as the driver of the vehicle. The third suspect is still outstanding, but there is no description of him to share at this time.
It does not appear anyone was struck by the gunfire. One of the California Highway Patrol Officers was taken to a local hospital for treatment of minor injuries from being pinned in the door of his vehicle. That officer has since been released from the hospital and is expected to recover from his injuries.
The San Diego Police Homicide Unit will be coordinating the investigation into the shooting in conjunction with the Escondido Police Department regarding the carjacking in their jurisdiction. The California Highway Patrol will be assisting in the investigation and will conduct the administrative investigation into the discharge of their officers’ service weapons.
We will not be releasing the names of the officers or the suspects involved at this time. More information will be provided in the coming days.