An officer with the San Diego Police Department (SDPD) critically shot a domestic violence suspect in Hillcrest Friday night after the suspect allegedly pointed a kitchen knife at him, authorities confirmed.
The officer-involved shooting happened around 10:35 p.m. in the 4200 block of 6th Avenue.
The man has been identified as 30-year-old Joshua Adam Sisson according to San Diego police. An additional follow-up investigation by police revealed Sisson had an outstanding felony parole warrant for his arrest.
SDPD officers were called to the 500 block of Lewis Street about five minutes before the shooting to investigate a domestic violence incident involving a man who had allegedly held a knife to his boyfriend’s neck. By the time officers arrived at the scene, the suspect had fled.
Minutes later, a crew aboard the SDPD’s helicopter unit told officers on the ground they could see the possible domestic violence suspect making his way up a hill on 6th Avenue. A police officer arrived in the area and spotted the man on the hill.
The SDPD said the officer ordered the man to stop. The suspect then allegedly turned toward the officer and pointed a large kitchen knife at the officer, “in an aggressive stance,” the police department said.
The officer told the suspect to stop and drop the knife, but he refused to comply. The suspect then advanced towards the officer, knife in hand.
Fearing for his safety, the officer fired his service gun at the suspect, the round striking him once in the chest.
The SDPD said the suspect was taken to Scripps Mercy Hospital down the street. The man died in the hospital early Saturday morning.
The suspect’s name has not yet been released and the police department said the deadly officer-involved shooting is under investigation. Police said a kitchen knife was found at the scene of the shooting, next to the suspect. The officer was not harmed.
Video of the incident was captured on a body camera worn by the police officer, who has been with the SDPD for 13 years.
Investigators said the suspect was wanted for a parole violation and had a violent criminal history. No further details were immediately released.
The shooting took residents by surprise, including Eddie Bell, who heard the police helicopter hovering above his apartment complex. When he looked outside his window, he saw several SDPD patrol cars and bright lights flashing.
“It’s crazy, because it’s so quiet around here. Not much happens here, it seems like,” Bell told NBC 7. “Knowing it happened just outside my room is pretty insane.”
Another resident told NBC 7 he woke up to the sound of a gunshot. He ran to make sure the door to his apartment was locked before realizing there was a heavy police presence just outside his apartment complex.
Hillcrest resident Lisa Hafso, who just moved into the neighborhood a few days ago, said she was watching television with friend Sophie Smith when they heard noises and commotion coming from outside. When they paused the TV, they heard helicopters and sirens.
Then, they heard the sound of a shot being fired.
“We heard a ‘pop’ sound. We thought it was our heater or something,” said Hafso.
When the women looked outside, they saw a man down on the ground.
“It was intense,” Smith recalled.
“It was disturbing,” Hafso added.
Smith said the police activity in the neighborhood is not typical for the otherwise quiet area.
“It’s sad to say, but it could happen anywhere," Hafso told NBC 7. "I still love this neighborhood.”