Police Shoot Man in Elementary School Chase

Bullet was lodged in victim's chest cavity

By Michael Gehlken
|  Wednesday, Apr 20, 2011  |  Updated 11:48 AM PDT
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Police Shoot Man at Elementary School

NBC San Diego

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A police officer shot a man at an El Cajon elementary school Tuesday night after the suspect jumped out at him during a chase, El Cajon police said.

Officers responded to a call at about 11 p.m. on the Johnson Avenue Elementary campus that reported several people were drinking and causing a disturbance.

Two officers arrived at the school, located on 500 W. Madison Ave., and entered campus from the east. They made contact with two male suspects and separately pursued them when the suspects ran in opposite directions.

Police say a 26-year-old officer, who has six years in the department, fired one round at the suspect he was chasing when the suspect jumped out at him as the officer ran around a building.

The bullet passed through the 28-year-old suspect’s wrist and lodged in his chest cavity. He was transported to Sharp Memorial Hospital where he is listed in stable condition.

The officer was not injured.

Akin Swinton estimated he lives about 100 feet from the school and said the shooting was very rare for the neighborhood. Dress in a heavy black sweatshirt, he sleepily wiped his eyes when retelling what happened.

“I was getting ready to go to sleep, and then I hear, ‘Pow!’ and I hear a bunch of police,” Swinton said. “Once the helicopter came out, I was like, ‘Yup. It’s time to go take a look. I’m going to see what’s going on.’ It’s crazy.”

A police helicopter searched the surrounding area of the campus, but the second suspect was not located.

Subsequently, El Cajon police received a second call reporting two juveniles tagging just outside the school.

Other officers responded and stopped the suspects after they ran from the area. They were taken into custody for curfew and vandalism.

It is unknown if the two groups are connected, police said.

Anyone with information about the suspect who was not apprehended during chase is asked to call the El Cajon Police Department at (619) 579-3311.

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