Deputy Shoots, Kills Suspect in Vista

By Monica Garske and Tony Shin
|  Saturday, Sep 22, 2012  |  Updated 2:51 PM PDT
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NBC 7's Tony Shin reports from Bonair Road in Vista on Thursday, Sept. 20 with why investigators believe the shooting was justified.

NBC 7's Tony Shin reports from Bonair Road in Vista on Thursday, Sept. 20 with why investigators believe the shooting was justified.

A San Diego County sheriff’s deputy shot a suspect in Vista Wednesday after a physical altercation, authorities confirmed.

The shooting happened at around 4:45 p.m. in front of the Oak Manor Apartments complex located at 1575 Bonair Rd. near the 1300 block of Palomar Place.

According to authorities, a deputy routinely patrolling the area noticed a man acting suspiciously and carrying what appeared to be a knife between his arm and body.

When the deputy approached the suspect to ask him some questions, the suspect resisted and a struggle ensued between the pair. Officials said the suspect removed the deputy’s taser from his holster, and the deputy then opened fire.

Residents at the apartment complex heard two loud gunshots just before 5 p.m.

"Like two or three loud shots around quarter to five or so," resident Ken Wright told NBC 7 San Diego.

The suspect was shot in the torso and killed, while the deputy sustained minor injuries to his leg, officials said.

When additional deputies arrived at the scene they discovered the item the suspect was carrying was actually a 10-inch-long hand file with a wooden handle. Officials said the file had a blunt end, but was shaped like a knife.

Deputies said the shooting was justified since the suspect did grab the deputy’s taser during their fight.

"Having been tased myself I can tell you that it is completely incapacitating and it's a definitely a deadly force situation if that's the case," said Lt. Glenn Glannantonio.

Sheriff’s homicide investigators are trying to determine if the suspect was under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

On Friday, investigators identified the suspect as 31-year-old Escondido resident Christopher Hannowsky.

Investigators also released the name of the deputy sheriff involved in the shooting, 12-year department veteran Carlos Canela.

Canela is currently on administrative leave, which is standard procedure in deputy-involved shooting cases.

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