San Diego police are investigating an officer-involved shooting and dramatic, high-speed car chase that prompted the closure of the San Ysidro border on Thursday night.
The ordeal began at around 6:23 p.m. when police were notified that a stolen 2007 Chevy pickup truck was seen driving south on State Route 15 and Mercy Road, according to SDPD Lt. Jorge Duran.
When officers attempted to pull over the Chevy, the suspect driving it took off, heading south on Interstate 5 toward the San Ysidro border, Duran said.
Police said the suspect, identified as 30-year-old Carlos Romero, came to a stop after encountering heavy traffic near the San Ysidro border crossing.
As officers approached the vehicle on foot, the suspect reportedly rammed two patrol cars and a U.S. Border Patrol vehicle. Aerial views of the chase showed pieces of shattered glass strewn along the area where the collision occurred.
According to SDPD, a police officer and Border Patrol agent fired their duty weapons at the suspect because they feared they were going to be injured.
The suspect managed to make a u-turn and the proceeded to head northbound in the southbound lanes of the I-5, weaving between oncoming cars at high speed while driving the wrong way, officials said.
Minutes later, the suspect exited the I-5 on Camino De La Plaza and ended up on Dairy Mart Road.
Residents of Dairy Mart Road were pulled from their dinner tables by the sound of the hot pursuit.
“We saw the helicopter and a lot of sirens,” Carlos Tallabas said.
“They told us to stay out of the way because there was a line of a fired,” Juan Gonzales said.
“I heard a lot of sirens and I went out my porch and saw a bunch of police,” Brenden Camargo said.
Police forced the truck to a curb on Dairy Mart Road. However, even without a right rear tire, the brazen suspect made a last ditch effort to escape.
Eventually, with police and federal agents front and back, the suspect surrendered. He left the truck with his hands in the air.
At about 7:15 p.m., officials closed the border as they began investigating the incident.
The suspect was transported to UCSD Medical center with a gunshot wound to his right leg sustained in the officer-involved shooting.
Authorities said the suspect will be under guard at UCSD Medical center. Once he is released, he will be officially under arrest and charged with multiple felonies.
The SDPD officer who fired on the suspect has been with the department for six years, and the Border Patrol agent has been on the job for seven years, officials from the agencies confirmed.