Cops Involved in Violent Gun Battle ID'd

Former firefighter Philip Hernandez, 40, went on a violent, three-day rampage across San Diego and was ultimately killed in a police shootout

The three San Diego police officers involved in a deadly shootout with a wanted man have been officially identified. 

Former firefighter Philip Hernandez, 40, was killed Halloween night during a gun battle with police in Barrio Logan. 

In the days leading up to the shootout, Hernandez was wanted by police for allegedly committing a series of violent crimes across San Diego during a three-day period that including two shootings, three robberies, carjackings and the burning of three vehicles.

One of those crimes was the “execution-style” shooting of off-duty SDPD officer Les Stewart, who was shot in the head at an ATM in Escondido.

Another was the shooting of a man in Hillcrest.

The three officers involved in the gun battle were 18-year police veteran Sergeant Scott Bartolomei, 6-year veteran Officer Nicholas Link and 5-year veteran Officer Alex Hesselgesser.

Throughout the crime spree, Hernandez was accompanied by alleged accomplice Cindy Garcia, 18, who was taken into custody following the officer-involved shooting of Hernandez Wednesday night.

In a jailhouse interview, Garcia told NBC 7 that she and Hernandez were involved in a serious romantic relationship and were married in Lake Tahoe this past June when she was just 17 years old.

Officials also believe that Hernandez and Garcia targeted an officer during their crime spree, with plans to kidnap and hold an individual for ransom before placing the person into a car and burning it.

Garcia, who's currently being held at Las Colinas Detention Facility on multiple charges, including carjacking and robbery.

Contact Us