San Diego

One Dead in Officer-Involved Shooting in Encanto

Thongsoune Vilaysane, 30, of San Diego died in the officer-involved shooting on Benson Avenue and Pagel Place

A San Diego man was shot and killed by San Diego Police Wednesday following a pursuit in the Encanto neighborhood.

The events leading up to the shooting were captured on body cameras worn by San Diego Police Department (SDPD) officers, investigators confirmed Thursday.

Thongsoune Vilaysane, 30, of San Diego, died in the shooting on Benson Avenue and Pagel Place just north of Skyline Drive. His body lay next to the driver's door of a silver car riddled with bullet holes.

Vilaysane was driving a silver Acura from a home on Pagel Place at 9:30 p.m. when officers noticed the vehicle.

"The Acura began driving rapidly away from the officers and police followed the vehicle," investigators said in a written news release. "The vehicle attempted to evade the officers and they later became aware the vehicle was reported stolen out of Carlsbad."

One witness living near the shooting said he came out to check on his car after hearing what sounded like a car chase and then a minor crash.

The Acura crashed into a parked car, police said.

"We heard him actually try to go away but it's only a one-street. It's kind of hard to reverse," said witness Ricardo Tavizon.

Tavizon said about seven to eight officers and two police cruisers blocked the suspect's car.

"You could tell this was an ongoing chase because there was a good amount of cops already on his tail," he said.

The officers shouted at the suspect multiple times to get out of his car but the suspect backed his car into a police cruiser, Tavizon told NBC 7. That's when officers began firing multiple rounds at the car.

SDPD officials said Vilaysane put the vehicle in reverse and narrowly missed two officers.

"In defense of their life, four officers fired multiple rounds at the driver to stop the threat of the moving vehicle," the police statement read.

Traffic control was requested and streets were blocked off as police investigated.

SDPD Chief Shelley Zimmerman arrived to the scene following the shooting and was briefed by investigators.

The officers who fired their weapons were not identified by name but described as having two to five years experience with the San Diego Police Department.

NBC 7 spoke with three Encanto residents Thursday who said they heard approximately 40 shots fired in the officer-involved incident. The neighbors said the gunfire lasted about five to 10 seconds.

Two witnesses said they felt the use of force and gunfire on the suspect was excessive.

All residents told NBC 7 this is an otherwise quiet, safe neighborhood where nothing like this has ever happened.

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