San Diego

Man Killed in Deputy-Involved Shooting While Fleeing Authorities in Vista Identified

"No 'Put your gun down,' no 'Get on the floor.' Nothing. Just emptied the whole clip," said one witness to the shooting.

San Diego County Sheriff's Department (SDSO) officials have identified the unarmed man shot and killed Wednesday after fleeing authorities in Vista.

Deputies first began pursuing Jonathon Coronel Wednesday morning around 10:30 a.m. when they spotted him in a green Buick near North Melrose Drive and Knoll Road. 

According to the San Diego County Sheriff's Department (SDSO), Coronel was a 24-year-old documented gang member wanted on a probation violation.

The pursuit went through the residential neighborhood. Neighbors said Coronel tried to hide behind a house. 

When a woman spotted him, she forced him to leave.

He reportedly walked across the street calmly, witnesses said. 

"He looked like just a regular kid walking, you know?" said Victor Garcia, a resident of the neighborhood.

Witnesses said he hopped a fence into another person's backyard. 

According to SDSO, there was a confrontation between the pursuing deputy and the suspect before the deputy fired several times, killing the suspect.

"That's when the kid jumped the fence back there and you didn't hear anything," said Garcia. "No 'Put your gun down,' no 'Get on the floor.' Nothing. Just emptied the whole clip."  

Deputies said they are investigating what exactly led to the shooting. 

Another man who witnessed the shooting that happened in his backyard described it similarly.

"The shooting was like boom, boom, boom," the witness, who did not want to be identified, said. According to the homeowner, Coronel was lying on his stomach at the time he was shot.

Deputies said Coronel was not armed at the time, but they did find a knife and other sharp objects on the path he used to escape.

The Medical Examiner ruled Coronel's cause of death multiple gunshot wounds. The death was ruled a homicide. 

The officer involved in the shooting is now on administrative leave.

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