Officials Identify Man Who Shot at Deputies in Pauma Valley Standoff

Jose Nieto, 28, fired on deputies as they descended on a home along Adams Drive Thursday night during an hours-long standoff

A man who exchanged gunfire with deputies at his home in Pauma Valley earlier this week has been identified by officials.

Jose Nieto, 28, of Pauma Valley, is accused of firing on three San Diego County Sheriff’s Department (SDSO) deputies at his home on Adams Drive Thursday night, the sheriff’s department confirmed Saturday.

Nieto is facing three counts of attempted murder. The SDSO said Nieto – who was wounded in the hours-long standoff – is currently in custody, under guard at a local hospital. He is scheduled to be arraigned on the morning of Christmas Eve.

The standoff between Nieto and deputies began around 4 p.m. Thursday after authorities received a 911 call from a man who said he didn’t feel safe inside his home on Adams Drive, just north of Pauma Casino.

SDSO Lt. Dave Schaller said that when deputies arrived at the property, they saw a man – now identified as Nieto – coming to the door with a handgun. Nieto began firing at the deputies, and three deputies returned fire as they retreated, Schaller said.

Deputies surrounded the home and called for backup. For hours, deputies were unsure if anyone else was in the house with the man who had opened fire.

SDSO Lt. Rich Williams said deputies tried to reach out to Nieto but heard nothing back. As the standoff unfolded, they weren’t sure if the suspect was wounded, dead or even still inside the home.

Eventually, deputies entered the house and found Nieto inside with a gunshot wound to his leg. Officials said Nieto is a nurse by profession and had treated the wound himself during the course of the standoff.

Nieto was arrested and taken to a local hospital; he is expected to survive his wounds.

The SDSO said the deputies who exchanged gunfire with Nieto were not injured. Those deputies have not yet been identified by the department.

During the standoff, nearby residents were evacuated and others were told to shelter in place. After Nieto was arrested, residents were allowed back into their homes. Pauma Valley is located about 50 miles northeast of downtown San Diego.

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