San Diego

Off-Duty Officer Injured in Shooting Jumped in to Help Brother

"My brother is a hero," said Josh Philpot

An off-duty San Diego County Sheriff's (SDSO) deputy wounded by gunfire in the Gaslamp area of San Diego is being called a hero by his brother--whom he jumped in to protect.

"He saved my life," said Josh Philpot.

Deputy Jason Philpot, an 11-year veteran of the department, was shot near Island and Sixth avenues at 1:17 a.m. Monday. It happened on the sidewalk in front of the Gaslamp BBQ.

Josh told NBC 7 Monday evening, he was there when the bullets started flying. He praised the life-saving actions of his older brother.

"My brother is a hero," said Josh.

The 35-year-old deputy is recovering after being shot three times in the shoulder--protecting his little brother.

"The fact that he runs to the gun not only to protect me and everyone else in the area and sacrifice himself like that. It takes a very specific individual and he’s got whatever it is," said Josh.

Josh told NBC 7, just before the incident, he and his brother were with a couple friends leaving the Metallica concert. Josh said he was lagging behind and when he glanced over at a group of men, one man questioned him.

"'What's up then blood?' I turned and looked at him and kind of 'Huh, you talking to me.' I shook my head and kept walking," Josh said.

He said that's when the man flashed a gun beneath his shirt and Josh shouted out, "This guy's got a gun."

"My brother literally jumped in, like some kind of super hero and started fighting with this guy over the gun and that's when the struggle happened," Josh said.

He said his brother was featured on the cover of Silver Star Magazine where he penned a piece about how public perception of law enforcement means a lot to him. In July, Philpot was at La Jolla Shores, mentoring youth at Urban Surf 4 Kids Surf With a Cop Day.

"He's a real inspiration. He goes above and beyond. He could just show up for that one day and go home. For him, it’s a lasting thing. He’s connected," said Craig Jenkins, President of Urban Surf 4 Kids.

Another person walking down the street was also shot in the arm but is expected to survive. 

Authorities are searching for two suspects.

The suspect who fired the shots was described as a man in his 30's, about 5- feet, 10-inches tall, weighing about 160 to 170 pounds with shoulder length dreadlocks.

Servin said two off-duty Escondido police officers were with the deputy at the time of the shooting. Those officers were uninjured.

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