Cop Shooting Suspect Had Criminal Past

Suspect left a two-page suicide note in his apartment, police said.

The suspect in the death of a San Diego police officer had a criminal history, which includes convictions for robbery, reckless driving and resisting a police officer

On Saturday, Dejon Marquee White, 23, was killed in a shootout with San Diego police officers outside his apartment complex on 48th Street in City Heights. 

He was armed with a shotgun and suspected of fatally shooting San Diego police officer Jeremy Henwood shortly after 5:30 p.m. at University Avenue and 45th Street in City Heights, police said.

In 2006, at age 19, White was convicted of grand robbery and was ordered to pay $2,700 to Sears Essentials. He stole a television from the store where he worked.

Earlier this year, he was convicted of reckless driving in October and petty theft in November, according to documents.

NBCSanDiego learned there was a misdemeanor criminal arrest warrant issued Aug. 5 for White, less than 24 hours before his death. He had not paid the fine for a citation involving failure to pay a bus or trolley fare. Bail for the warrant was $1,156.

The arrest warrant issued Friday meant that if stopped by an officer, White risked being arrested; however, police investigators haven't yet announced a motive in the killing of Officer Henwood.

Those close to White said they were surprised by his actions.

As part of the government's Homelessness Prevention and Rapid Re-Housing Program, White paid less than $100 a month in rent.

White's mother and family members who showed up at the crime scene Sunday spent Monday inside her nearby home - telling reporters they're equally shocked - that Dejon had stopped by just hours before the shooting to water the lawn.

Case manager Alisa Holston works at the Alpha Project where White was homeless six months ago and part of its winter shelter.

She called him a success story, as he got a car and then an apartment through the federal program.

"You couldn't tell me in a million years that was DeShon that did that," Holston said. "What happened, I'm still questioning myself."

Investigators believe White was involved in a suicidal crime spree beginning at the In-and-Out on N. Magnolia at 5:22 p.m. Saturday. A man in a black Audi with paper plates shot Martin Hana in the face while Hana sat in the restaurant's parking lot. Hana was expected to survive.

White eluded police after a high-speed chase. An officer who had no knowledge of the restaurant shooting spotted the Audi speeding and gave chase but abandoned the pursuit as it reached speeds of 100 mph.

At 5:32 p.m., an Audi with temporary plates flashed its headlights and came alongside the patrol car of  Henwood.

"According to witnesses, the suspect vehicle pulled up on the left side of the officer's vehicle, pointed a gun out of the passenger window and fired at the officer," a police statement said.

Officer Henwood later died from his injuries.

Investigators said White was spotted carrying a shotgun and getting into a black Audi outside his apartment minutes after Henwood was shot.

Just after 6 p.m. officers said White was headed south on 48th from his apartment's driveway when he reportedly opened his driver-side door and grabbed his shotgun.

Officers fired on White. The Audi rolled backward down the street and crashed into an iron fence.

Officers pulled White from the car and called for paramedics. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

The manager of White's apartment gave NBC 7 San Diego access inside the unit.

His small home appeared to be clean was furnished with a futon, an ottoman, a few clothes hanging in the closet and a straw hat.

A search warrant detailed what officers seized from the apartment: pictures, cash, a notebook, several boxes of shotgun shells and a suicide note.

The suicide note was two pages long but didn't say how White was going to kill himself or why, according to police.

On Monday afternoon, Urban Corps of San Diego sent out a release, saying the organization was "completely devastated" and "deeply saddened" by the Saturday events that left two dead and Hana hospitalized.

White joined the program in January and helped remove brush in the county. He applied to City College and was attending and scheduling job interviews, according to the release.

In the past week, however, White stopped attending work and missed a forklift training course.

"The Urban Corps mission is to provide a second chance to young people and instill the importance of civic responsibility," the release said, "and so it is terribly heartbreaking for us that this young man went down such a sudden, violent path, taking an innocent civil servant with him and causing pain to so many.

"Our hearts go out to all the families involved in this terrible tragedy."

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