San Diego

Officials ID Deputies in Shooting at Vista 7-Eleven

 Officials have identified the four San Diego County Sheriff’s Deputies who were off duty when they got involved in a dispute outside a 7-Eleven in Vista.

When a man drove a car into the group, one deputy fired his weapon multiple times, striking the driver.

Alejandro Blanco, 32, was arraigned in Vista Wednesday on three charges of felony assault with a deadly weapon on a peace officer and one count of personally inflicting great bodily injury. 

Blanco is not a U.S. citizen, prosecutors said, and argued he was a flight risk. He was held on $500,000 bail. Prosecutors are waiting to hear if Blanco was impaired when he got behind the wheel of the car that morning. 

Prosecutors say Blanco was in an argument with a group of men over foul comments made about a female companion the night of the deputy-involved shooting.

The fight was taking place in the parking lot of the 7-Eleven on East Vista Way just before 2 a.m. Sunday, March 27.

The deputies, who were not uniform, were in a nearby shopping center nearby and walked over to the parking lot to attempt to de-escalate the situation and break up the fight, SDSO Lt. Kenneth Nelson said. 

Blanco, who was driving a Nissan Maxima, walked from the parking lot to his car, suddenly putting it in reverse, Nelson said. He ran over one deputy and knocked another on the hood of the car, Nelson said. The deputy hit by the front of the car was knocked unconscious, prosecutors say. 

Blanco switched from reverse to forward drive, accelerating toward the third deputy, Nelson said. That's when a deputy fired his revolver twice, hitting Blanco in the upper torso, Nelson said.

Deputy Jason Phillips with the department’s Special Investigations Division has been identified as the deputy that opened fire.

A news release from the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department Homicide Division, identified the three other deputies involved as Sgt. Alejandro Navarro, Deputy Anthony Garcia and Deputy Zheath Sanchez.

Garcia and Sanchez work with Phillips in the Special Investigations Division (S.I.D.) that focuses on special projects ranging from narcotics to gangs and organized crime.

Navarro works for the Court Services Bureau.

Anyone with information about this incident can call the Homicide Detail at (858) 974- 2321/after hours at (858) 565-5200 or Crime Stoppers at (888) 580-TIPS(8477).

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