San Diego

Man Accused of Killing SDPD Officer J.D. De Guzman to Face Death Penalty

The San Diego man who is accused of shooting and killing a San Diego police officer and wounding a second officer in 2016 will face the death penalty, the San Diego County District Attorney's Office told a judge Friday. 

Jesse Michael Gomez, 56, is charged with murder, attempted murder and a special circumstance allegation of murder of a police officer.

He is accused in the killing of SDPD Officer Jonathan "J.D." De Guzman and the shooting of Officer Wade Irwin during a pedestrian stop in Southcrest on July 28, 2016.

The shooting happened when Officer Irwin got out and asked Gomez if he lived in the area, Deputy District Attorney Michael said in a previous court appearance.

Gomez allegedly turned around and shot Irwin with a handgun, striking him in the throat.

He then made his way to the patrol car where De Guzman was in the driver's seat, Runyon said.

Gomez shot De Guzman point-blank in the car multiple times before he ever raised his service weapon, Runyon said.

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.

De Guzman, 43, was a 16-year veteran of the SDPD. 

Irwin, who was shot in the neck, was able to fire his weapon, striking the suspect.  He was also able to identify the defendant from a lineup of photographs, officials said.

Court records show Gomez has an extensive criminal history: he has previous convictions for carrying a concealed firearm, carrying a firearm while under the influence of methamphetamine and being a convicted felon while having a firearm. He also has a 1983 joyriding conviction.

Runyon requested Friday that Gomez be held without bail.

A preliminary hearing is tentatively set for Feb. 5.

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