San Diego

Crime Scene Images Shown in Trial of Man Accused of Killing SDPD Officer, Wounding Another

Dozens of evidence markers lined the streets of Shelltown after the deadly shooting of a San Diego police officer, according to images shown Tuesday in court.

The evidence against 58-year old Jesse Gomez was presented by the San Diego County District Attorney's Office during the second day of the preliminary hearing in the case.

Judge Frederic Link heard from investigators who collected and processed evidence from the shooting scene.

Officer Jonathan 'J.D.' De Guzman and his partner Wade Irwin were shot after approaching a suspected gang member in July 2016.

For the first time, images showing some of the evidence gathered at the shooting scene were made public.

They include pictures of a blood trail that led to Gomez, who was laying unresponsive in a ravine behind homes on Acacia Grove Way.

Investigators raked through leaves and debris near the ravine where they found a small pocket purse with one bullet inside, a baggie with multiple bullets and a semi-automatic handgun.

Back on Acacia Grove, evidence markers showed more than a dozen casing and bullets, around the officers' patrol car.

On Monday, Officer Irwin described the moment he and De Guzman approached their alleged attacker, and detailed actions he took as he lay wounded in the street.

According to Irwin, the officer saw two men, one of whom they suspected was a gang member known as "Fuzzy," and pulled their patrol car up to him.

Irwin said that within five seconds of exiting the passenger seat, he was shot in the neck by a man he identified in court and in a photo lineup as Gomez.

“I got out of the vehicle, I took a couple of steps, I asked the male if he lived in the area, and almost immediately he raised the gun and shot me," Irwin said in response to a question by prosecutor Michael Runyon.

As he laid on the ground, Irwin said he saw Gomez approach the passenger-side door of the patrol car.

“I believed that he was going to execute me if he saw that I was still alive and I needed to stop the threat. So I took out my handgun with my right hand. I reached across my body and I began to shoot at him," Irwin said.

Irwin said he was able to fire three or four shots despite being critically injured. Defense attorneys later confirmed that Irwin actually shot nine rounds. 

Prosecutors say Gomez shot De Guzman point-blank in the car multiple times before De Guzman ever raised his service weapon.

De Guzman was struck in the right torso; the bullet punctured both lungs, severed his spine and punctured his pulmonary artery. He suffered four additional bullet wounds.

Irwin said he was hospitalized for 23-days and was off duty for 8-months. He said he still suffers from injuries that include a collapsed lung, a paralyzed right diaphragm, a partially-paralyzed vocal cord, nerve damage, and numbness in his right earlobe and right side of his face.

De Guzman, 43, was a 16-year veteran of the SDPD. He left behind a wife, a son and a daughter.

Gomez last appeared in December 2017 when the San Diego County District Attorney's Office announced they would seek the death penalty if he was convicted on a charge of murder, attempted murder and a special circumstance allegation of murder of a police officer.

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