San Diego

Suspect in Shooting of SDSO Deputy Target of Spring Valley SWAT Standoff

The suspect in the recent shooting of an off-duty San Diego County sheriff's deputy was the target of a five hour-long SWAT standoff in Spring Valley late Wednesday. 

The standoff at a home on Tarleton Street lasted for hours. The neighborhood is located east of Lemon Grove Avenue and north of Jamacha Road, west of State Route 125. 

Authorities said they were searching for suspect Ray Koloset Pitoau, 37, wanted in connection with Monday's shooting in the Gaslamp Quarter.

Deputy Jason Philpot, an 11-year veteran of the department, was shot near Island and Sixth avenues. It happened on the sidewalk in front of the Gaslamp BBQ. 

The 35-year-old deputy is recovering after being shot three times in the shoulder. Philpot's brother told NBC 7 the off-duty deputy was injured protecting him. 

San Diego police officers used flash bangs and a K-9 team to try and bring Pitoau out of the home. A robot was sent into the home next. After that, when SWAT officers entered the home, they found no one inside.

"Our leads that brought us here, there were people that were seen at the residence," San Diego Police Lt. Ernesto Servin said. "That's all I'm going to say about that."

Authorities continue to search for Pitoau. He is described as 5 feet 11 inches tall, 225 pounds with long braided hair and a distinct SD tattoo on his chest.

When SWAT officers went inside the home after sending a police dog and robot in first, they did not find anyone.

Neighbors said the home is occupied by at least three or more people. They also said there is constant activity in the home day and night.

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