Ensemble Change Helps Armed Intruder Evade Arrest in Normal Heights

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San Diego police are looking for a gunman who broke into two apartments in Normal Heights over the weekend and switched up his look in between to avoid detection.

SDPD officers responded to reports of loud music coming from a car on Adams Avenue in Normal Heights at around 1 a.m. Friday.

The driver allegedly ran from police while firing multiple shots into the air, then broke into an apartment unit down the street.

The tenant, who was sleeping inside at the time, said he fought the invader to the ground before the man stole his cell phone and fired another shot. A bullet pierced the tenant’s kitchen cabinet.

The tenant was able to escape and call 911.

But it wasn't long until the culprit found his second target across the street, about 20 feet away. The landlord, identified only as Rigo, believes the man jumped over a gate despite a row of spikes along the top and security cameras just above.

Rigo said he came face-to-face with the man before realizing he was wanted.

“He had a good story, he a had a good story, and he fooled everybody. Police, everybody,” he said.

Rigo said he woke up to his dog alerting him to trouble. He went outside and spotted a man walking down the street.

“I asked him if everything was OK and he said yeah, he had gotten into an argument with his girlfriend and was asked to leave,” Rigo explained.

It wasn't until Rigo returned home that he noticed one of his units was broken into. Luckily, no one was inside this time.

Rigo said he called police but was told no one was readily available to file his report.

His description of the suspect didn’t align with his neighbors’, and his cameras on the property soon revealed why.

Witnesses first described the man as bearded with long hair, but several hours after the incident, cameras picked the man up as he left the second apartment with an entirely new look – a shaved head and beard, and a new outfit.

“Two hours later, this guy came out as somebody else,” Rigo said.

Rigo said he doesn’t think the man will return, but the damage to his tenants’ peace of mind has been done.

“I hope they catch him,” he said.

SDPD said they recovered an AR-15 rifle from the suspect's car.

Anyone with information is asked to call SDPD.

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