A witness to a fatal shooting Saturday described a tragic scene in which a knife-wielding woman warned a man that it was Judgment Day before she was shot and killed by a San Diego police officer.
“We thought it was a couple having an argument but apparently it was more than that,” said Omar Orihuela. He was drawn into the dramatic confrontation when he heard a woman yelling outside his Bay Terraces home.
"She was using a lot of religious words, accusing him of things and telling him Judgment Day was here and she had 1,000 souls behind her,” said Orihuela.
“She was very eloquent. She was very, very loud. A lot of people came out,” he said.
Shortly after midnight, San Diego police were called to the 6800 block of Quebec Court where a woman had stabbed her 9-year-old son with a knife and hit her 16-year-old son in the head with a vase.
They were met by a 43-year-old man who said his girlfriend had stabbed him and the children police said.
Lt Jorge Duran with the San Diego Police Department Homicide Unit said the woman was in the parking lot when officers arrived.
“She was armed with a knife. The officer ordered the female to drop the knife several times according to witnesses who heard the officer calling out to her,” Duran said.
The woman raised the knife above her head and charged at the officer witnesses told officials.
That’s when Orihuela said he heard three shots.
"As soon as the police drew his gun I figured it wasn't safe for me to be watching anymore, so I closed my window, and my door, and then I saw the shots, and we saw the shots we just closed the door completely, and kneeled down, and I told my wife: 'Go into the room with the kids'," he said.
The woman was pronounced dead at the scene. She was later identified as 33-year-old Maria Zarco.
"When the stretcher came her son or relative was yelling: 'Why did you do it mom, why did you do it'," Orihuela said.
The 9-year-old was hospitalized at Rady Children’s Hospital with multiple stab wounds and is expected to survive his injuries according to Duran.
The boyfriend was transported to Mercy Hospital and is expected to survive his injuries as well officials said.
The officer who shot the woman has been placed on administrative duty while the investigation is conducted.