Gaslamp Standoff Ends in Arrest, Shots Fired

Military-style assault rifle, gas mask, handgun and tactical vest left in stairwell where suspect was shot by police

By Lauren Steussy, Diane Guevara and R. Stickney
|  Monday, Oct 15, 2012  |  Updated 9:05 AM PDT
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A male suspect was taken to the hospital in critical condition after police shot at him in the stairwell of a Gaslamp apartment building Sunday morning. NBC 7's Diana Guevara reports.

A male suspect was taken to the hospital in critical condition after police shot at him in the stairwell of a Gaslamp apartment building Sunday morning. NBC 7's Diana Guevara reports.

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A man armed with an assault rifle was shot twice by San Diego police in a downtown apartment building Sunday.

Police officers responded to a call in the lobby of the Market Street Square Apartments at about 3 a.m., according to Terry McManus with the San Diego Police Department.

The person who called police said the suspect was wearing a tactical vest and carrying an assault weapon.

See images from the standoff here.

A group of officers along with a K-9 entered the lobby and located the suspect in the stairwell of the apartment building.

Within seconds shots were fired by an officer in a nearby stairwell, as another officer could be seen in the lobby with his gun drawn.

The suspect reportedly aimed a rifle at San Diego police officers. Police fired at him, shooting him at least twice.

It wasn't until nearly an hour later, when the suspect covered in blood, staggered out of the stairwell through a side door and was quickly taken into custody.

He was bleeding from his chest and arm and was transported to UCSD Medical Center where he was described as in critical condition officials said.

Left behind in the stairwell were a loaded military-style assault rifle, gas mask, handgun and tactical vest, according to a statement from police.

A SWAT team arrived as the suspect was taken into custody to secure the scene. Police believe the suspect is a 24-year-old man who lives in the apartment complex.

One witness told NBC 7 that the suspect had just returned from Afghanistan. Police said they are investigating whether this is true.

One of the residents in the building, Rosenna Stephenson, told NBC 7 San Diego that the suspect was wearing a bulletproof vest and had an assault rifle.

"The police officers weren't even five minutes in the lobby and there were gunshots," she said. "I still hear those gunshots in my head, it's very scary."

No other people were injured in the shooting.

Police said the officer who shot the suspect is an 18-year veteran of the department.

Police initially reported that the suspect fired at officers. Police now report that the suspect did not fire at the officers.

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