New information in a deputy-involved shooting early Sunday morning in Vista, in which officers fired at a man allegedly trying to run them over with a car, revealed the off-duty Sheriff's deputies had been celebrating at a colleague’s retirement party before the incident.
The four deputies involved were at Jim’s Vista Lounge late Saturday night the Sheriff’s Department confirmed.
When the deputies left the celebration around 2 a.m. Sunday they saw several people in front of the nearby 7-11 store in the 1500 block of East Vista Way in an ‘escalating altercation.’
One of the people was wielding a metal magazine rack as a weapon toward the others the Sheriff’s Department said.
The deputies tried to ‘deescalate a felony assault in progress’, but without warning one man put his car in reverse and struck three officers the department confirmed. One deputy fired five shots at the car to stop the threat.
Alejandro Blanco, 32, who was driving the car, was shot at least twice the department said.
He was in court Monday charged with three counts of assault with a deadly weapon for trying to run over the three officers.
A part of the ongoing criminal and administrative investigations will be to determine if the off-duty deputies had been drinking that night, and if so, how much the Sheriff’s department confirmed.
The case has been turned over to the District Attorney’s office.
The deputies, like other citizens licensed to carry guns, are entitled to use force when confronted with death or great bodily injury attorney Marc Carlos told NBC 7.
It is not known if the deputies had to give a blood alcohol test at the scene.