Deputy Shoots, Injures Homeowner in Spring Valley

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

By Mari Payton and R. Stickney
|  Tuesday, Aug 21, 2012  |  Updated 4:26 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.

Officials went door to door in Spring Valley searching for witnesses in a shooting involving a San Diego County sheriff’s deputy.

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.

The homeowner’s daughter, who was at the home at the time of the shooting, was taken into the care of relatives.

While investigators are trying to find out why the woman was shot, the male suspect from the original call has not been located. 

Berhalter has been placed on administrative leave until cleared to return to work.

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