Man Killed by SDPD Had Homemade Explosives: Officials

Man shot by police had homemade guns and explosives on him including some hidden on his body

A Mira Mesa man killed by San Diego police on an Escondido street corner was heavily armed with homemade firearms and explosives, including several small devices hidden on his body, officials said Friday.

William Mayes had 17 explosive devices on him when he was shot and killed by officers Wednesday night at the corner of Del Lago and Avenida Magoria.

Investigators say 37-year-old Mayes was under investigation as a suspect in a felony elderly abuse case.

As detectives were investigating the alleged attack on Mayes’ father, they learned Mayes may be building a cache of homemade guns, pipe bombs and smaller explosives known as "crickets."

To serve a search warrant on Mayes’ family’s home, investigators concocted a ruse to lure him to a park-and-ride lot at 3300-block of Del Lago.

Once officers attempted to pull Mayes over just after 8 p.m., he drove away and crashed his SUV.

When Mayes got out of the SUV, he had a gun slung around his neck. Officials say he raised a black-barreled weapon at authorities. 

Four San Diego police officers fired at Mayes, killing him.

Investigators still do not know how many shots were fired or if Mayes fired a weapon.

"There’s no doubt in my professional opinion that he had every intention of firing at the officers," said Lt. Neil Griffin.

Dozens of evidence markers surrounded the red SUV near the intersection hours after the shooting.

Read: Officer Involved in North County Shooting

When investigators briefed reporters on the evidence collected at the scene, they had several homemade firearms displayed on a table.

Officers found 7 pipe bombs in the suspect's car including 2 firearms. Officials revealed the devices Friday adding that Mayes had ten smaller explosive devices called "crickets" hidden on his body.

"The pipe bombs were very, very sensitive," said Capt. John Wood explaining how the devices exploded when they attempted to render them safe. "Something inside there was very sensitive. I don’t know what it was."

Following department protocol after an officer-involved shooting, five San Diego police officers were placed on administrative duty.

Mayes had a criminal history. He was sentenced in 1997 to 3 years and 8 months for arson and was required to register as a arson offender.

"We know clearly he was a violent person," said Capt. Terry McManus adding that investigators may never know Mayes’ mindset or his motivation for manufacturing the weapons and pipe bombs.

"We’re not in possession of information that he had a specific plan to target anybody," McManus said.

On Jun. 12, the Escondido Police Department released the names of the SDPD five officers involved in the shooting of Mayes.

The SDPD officers are Sgt. Marc Pitucci a 25-year police veteran; 24-year veteran Det. Arturo Lovio; 10-year veteran Det. Nestor Hernandez; 13-year veteran Officer Jonathan DeGuzman; and Officer Zackary Pfannenstiel, who’s been with the department for more than five years.

The Escondido Police Department says all five officers have returned to full duty, and the investigation is ongoing.

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