SDPD ID's Officers Involved in Deadly Shooting of Homicide Suspect in City Heights

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The San Diego Police Department identified three officers involved in the deadly shooting of a homicide suspect following a tense standoff at a City Heights apartment in late May.

Gunfire was first reported at around 3:45 p.m. on May 29 at an apartment on Euclid Avenue south of University Avenue, according to the San Diego Police Department.

At the scene, police found a man with at least one gunshot wound, SDPD Officer Robert Heims said.

NBC 7's Dave Summers is at the scene where a SWAT standoff just finished.

Less than an hour later, the man was pronounced dead at the hospital. He was identified more than a week later as 62-year-old Juan Gudino Lopez. Lopez was working landscaping in the empty lot next door when he was shot, police said.

After finding Lopez, police set a perimeter around an apartment building where the suspect, identified Tuesday as 32-year-old Ronnie Kong, was believed to be barricaded.

As tension grew, SWAT resources were called to the scene. As they were arriving, Kong reportedly exited the apartment, walked halfway down the staircase toward police, and retreated inside ignoring demands to surrender, according to SDPD.

Kong came out of his apartment a second time shortly after, and again walked down the stairs toward police. Near the halfway point, he pulled a pistol and aimed it at officers, the department said.

That's when three officers fired their weapons at Kong, striking him dead. A firearm and a knife were recovered from the scene, SDPD said.

Kong's mother told police that her son had stated that he wanted to get into a shootout with police so he would be shot dead.

Earlier in the week, Kong's mother reported her son had fired off rounds inside their apartment. SDPD was in the process of preparing a warrant and a Gun Violence Restraining Order when they May 29 incident happened.

The three officers involved were identified as 15-year veteran Christopher Luth, 6-year veteran Tony Maraschiello, and 6-year veteran Andrew Campbell.

The SDPD Homicide unit is investigating the shooting, and the department's Internal Affairs unit will determine if any policy violations were committed.

Police did not explain any possible relationship between Lopez and Kong.

Anyone with information on the incident is asked to call the homicide unit at (619) 531-2293, or Crime Stoppers at (888) 580-8477.

If you or someone you know is experiencing suicidal thoughts, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255) to speak with someone who can help.

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