La Mesa Police Department

UPDATED: Man shot, killed by La Mesa police tried to shoot officer, says SDPD

During the shooting, a vehicle passing on University Avenue was hit by a bullet, impacting the vehicle's window

NBC Universal, Inc.

A wanted felon was shot to death Sunday night in an incident that involved La Mesa police officers, according to the San Diego Police Department, which is investigating the shooting.

Around 4:15 p.m., officers recognized a man in the parking lot of 8000 University Ave. as being a wanted for an active felony warrant. On Monday, SDPD disclosed that the man was being sought for a burglary charge.

When a pair of officers approached the man, he drew a handgun and pointed it directly at one of the officers, according to investigators, who added that it appeared the suspect tried to fire at the officer several times but the gun malfunctioned.

"In response, one officer discharged his firearm multiple times at the suspect as he ran through the parking lot," police said on Monday, adding that the man seemed to be attempting clear his gun as he ran.

At that point, according to investigators, the same officer fired at the man several times, hitting him repeatedly in the upper body and dropping him to the ground.

LMPD officers called the Heartland Fire & Rescue Department. Upon arrival, rescue crews gave the man first aid, but he died at the scene. Police said Monday that a loaded 9mm pistol was found after the incident.

At the time of the shooting, LMPD posted on social media, "Stay clear of the area. There is no threat to community safety."

During the shooting, a vehicle passing on University Avenue was hit by a bullet, striking a window. The person inside the vehicle was not hit, police said Sunday. Another round hit a nearby building, police said the next morning.

Officials are still working to identify the man who died but are withholding his name pending final confirmation with the medical examiner's office and family notification. However, they said, he is believed to be 41 years old.

The officer who fired the fatal shots was described by SDPD as a six-year veteran of the La Mesa Police Department. He has been place on paid leave, which is standard procedure for LMPD personnel involved in a shooting. The other officer never fired his weapon, according to investigators.

Per a countywide memorandum of understanding regarding investigations into shootings that involve law enforcement officers in San Diego County, SDPD's Homicide Unit is leading the investigation.

Contact Us