Deputy Accused of Shooting Spring Valley Woman on Leave

While searching a nearby backyard, the deputy fired on and injured a woman

By Lauren Steussy
|  Tuesday, Aug 21, 2012  |  Updated 8:56 PM PDT
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Deputies were called to Lee Avenue at 10:25 p.m. Sunday after a resident reported a suspicious man, wearing a ski mask in his driveway. NBC 7's Mari Payton reports.

Deputies were called to Lee Avenue at 10:25 p.m. Sunday after a resident reported a suspicious man, wearing a ski mask in his driveway. NBC 7's Mari Payton reports.

A deputy has been placed on administrative leave after the San Diego County Sheriff's Department said he shot and injured a woman near her Spring Valley home.

Deputies were called to the 8900-block of Leigh Avenue at 10:25 p.m. Sunday after a resident reported a suspicious man, wearing a ski mask in his driveway.

Deputy Luke Berhalter fired a round and shot a female homeowner in the backyard of a home on Via Tapia. The location of the shooting was about one to two blocks from the original call.

Deputies said they were searching the backyard for the suspect when there was some type of contact between the two deputies and the woman living in the home officials said. 

“At this point we are just beginning our investigation, we don’t have any information as to what may have led to that shooting,” said Lt. Larry Nesbit.

The woman was treated by paramedics on scene for a gunshot wound to the arm. She was taken to Scripps Mercy Hospital where she was listed in good condition.

Berhalter has been employed with the SDCSD for just under 2 years. Prior to serving in San Diego, he was employed as a deputy with the Sacramento County Sheriff's Department for over 7 years.

It is routine for deputies involved in shootings to be placed on administrative leave. Berhalter will return when he is cleared by the department and reviewed by the San Diego District Attorney's Office, a statement read.

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