A bounty hunter was shot in the face Friday in El Cajon after looking for a wanted person in a vacant business, leaving an El Cajon neighborhood on edge.
The search for the person who shot him caused SWAT officers to be called in. Bounty hunter Jesse Nuñez survived, and it isn't the first time his job as a private investigator has put him in the line of fire.
Friday’s incident was the second time Nuñez has been involved in a shooting.
Nuñez believes the change in bail schedules during the pandemic might be the reason more dangerous people are out on bond. Nonetheless, it’s a high-stakes job no matter what.
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Nuñez and agents with his company “Fugitive Warrants” entered an abandoned building looking for their fugitive, a man who wanted for selling fentanyl.
“The people inside that were with him were also fugitives. We didn’t know who was in there. We just knew that our guy was in there,” Nuñez said.
While searching the rooms, one of those fugitives confronted the agents and it turned into a scuffle. Nuñez says his agents called the police, and the man ran, got a gun, and shot him.
Nuñez was treated at a hospital and released right away. He says it usually doesn’t escalate to this, except for one other incident a year ago.
A wanted fugitive, Christopher Marquez, shot at Nuñez and his partner during an attempted arrest.
As the incident occurred pre-pandemic, the fugitive might not have been out on bail, and bail amounts were no longer set relative to criminal history.
"His bail would have been astronomical, but he was able to get out on a $50,000 bail bond and ended up continuing his criminal activity to the point where he wanted to kill a police officer," Nuñez told NBC 7.
Nuñez's partner was hit and is ok, but that shooting led to a weeks-long manhunt and ended with an 11 hour SWAT stand-off and the suspect dead.
Despite this, Nuñez says his support system and training at his job are what keep him going. And, he doesn’t plan on letting up anytime soon.
“It’s unfortunate, it’s unsettling and it’s unpleasant. But it doesn’t mean that I’m going to end my career and not provide for my family.”