El Cajon

Deputies Who Shot Theft Suspect, Police Officer During Altercation in El Cajon ID'd

Injured in the shooting was a National City police detective assisting in the enforcement operation

An investigation is underway in El Cajon on Wednesday, Feb. 17, 2022 following a shooting involving a sheriff's deputy.

Authorities Wednesday released video and publicly identified two San Diego County sheriff's deputies involved in an on-duty shooting that left a vehicle-theft suspect and a National City police officer wounded in El Cajon.

Deputies David Lovejoy and Jonathon Young opened fire on 31-year-old Erik Talavera last Wednesday night when he allegedly confronted them with a knife in his hand and refused to drop it during a traffic stop in the 1100 block of Decker Street, according to the El Cajon Police Department, which is leading the investigation into the shooting.

Talavera was hospitalized and surgery was performed, ECPD said. He's expected to survive. Also injured in the shooting was a National City police detective assisting in the enforcement operation.

On Wednesday, the ECPD, which is the agency leading the investigation into the shooting, released nearly 10 minutes of body-worn camera, drone footage, witness and surveillance camera video to the public.

Watch the video below. WARNING: Content may be considered graphic to some.

The events that led to the gunfire began when undercover investigators with the San Diego Regional Auto Theft Task Force requested assistance from sheriff's deputies to conduct a stop on a van pulling a stolen trailer, ECPD Lt. Randy Soulard said.

When Talavera got out of his car after being pulled over about 10:15 p.m., the deputies initially believed the dark-colored knife he was holding might have been a handgun, according to sheriff's officials.

In the video, body-camera footage from Young shows the deputy arriving on scene and moments later fire several shots towards the suspect, who falls to the ground. Several deputies move in and place the man in handcuffs.

Authorities have not disclosed exactly how the National City police officer, whose name has not been released, wound up with a minor bullet wound to the leg during the incident.

Police did not report, however, that any personnel at the scene other than Lovejoy and Young fired their guns.

Lovejoy has been with the Sheriff's Department for eight years, and Young for about six. The deputies will serve administrative assignments until they are cleared to return to field duty, which is standard protocol, officials said.

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