A man suspected in several shootings involving San Diego-area law enforcement has been on the run for nearly one month. Here’s a look at key moments in the case, which came to a head with an overnight standoff at San Diego High School.
What to Know
- March 16: Christopher Marquez, 36, allegedly shot at bounty hunter in Chula Vista
- April 5: Marquez fired on National City Police Department officers as he ran across Interstate 5
- April 12: Marquez fired on NCPD officers three times during a pursuit spanning the Sports Area area, Point Loma, SR-163 and downtown San Diego
March 16, 2021
On March 16, bounty hunters tried to arrest Christopher Marquez, 36, at a home on the 600 block of East J Street in Chula Vista. Marquez allegedly shot at the bounty hunters in front of the home, hitting one of them.
One of the bounty hunters who was not hurt, Jesse Nuñez said Marquez had fired between seven and nine shots at his partner.
“He struck one of our partners in the left bicep and in the right leg,” Nuñez said. “My partner went down; the suspect fled on foot.”
The Chula Vista Police Department and SWAT officers went to the home on East J Street that day. SWAT officers obtained a search warrant and went inside the home, but found that Marquez was no longer there.
The CVPD said the wounded bounty hunter was expected to recover from his injuries. The moments when Marquez opened fire on the bounty hunter were caught on a Ring home security camera.
April 5, 2021
At around 2:30 a.m. on April 5, National City Police Department officers spotted a stolen car at a Jack-In-the-Box drive-thru on Roosevelt Street near East 7th Street in National City.
Marquez was a passenger in the back seat of the car.
NCPD officers decided to make a “high-risk stop” on the car and before they approached the car, they called the fast-food restaurant to tell employees to lock their doors. Police also moved all other cars away from the area.
Officer stopped the stolen car; the driver and front-seat passenger followed commands. Marquez, however, got out of the car and ran away toward the Interstate 5 on-ramp at 7th Street.
The NCPD said Marquez turns around and fired “multiple times” at officers. Police returned fire as Marquez ran across the freeway. It's unclear if Marquez was struck by gunfire or injured in his escape. The two officers who were shot at were not injured, according to the police department.
Officers would then recover a gun on the side of the freeway, but Marquez was gone. The manhunt for Marquez continued.
April 12, 2021
At 8:15 p.m. on April 12, a National City Police Department officer spotted a car in San Diego’s Loma Portal area -- near Interstate 805 and 43rd Street -- carrying a passenger that the officer believed was Marquez.
NCPD Capt. Alex Hernandez said the officer tried to stop the car but the car took off . A pursuit began through Nimitz and West Point Loma boulevards, where someone inside the car then opened fire on police officers, officials said.
The high-speed pursuit continued onto State route 163 into downtown San Diego, where the driver exited on 10th Avenue and A Street. At this point, the people inside the car fired again on NCPD officers, officials said – the second time during the pursuit.
One of the NCPD officers was able to return fire, but no one was hit, the SDPD said.
The pursuit continued from Russ Boulevard to San Diego City College, then into San Diego High School at 1405 Park Blvd. That’s when the people inside the car fired on NCPD officers for the third time, the SDPD said.
Hernandez said no officers from the NCPD were hurt in the pursuit.
SDPD said Marquez and a woman who had been in the car with him ran away from the car carrying a rifle and handgun. They got themselves into a dumpster near the football field at San Diego High School and barricaded themselves inside.
At 8:20 p.m. law enforcement officers from several agencies were called to San Diego High School to help with what would turn into a standoff that carried on through the night and into Tuesday morning.
Law enforcement set up a perimeter around the campus. Officials began negotiations with Marquez and the woman.
The standoff lasted approximately 11 hours, police said.
As the hours passed, the SDPD said Marquez grew agitated and “turned his anger towards the woman with him.”
Police said the woman had tried to get out of the dumpster several times, but Marquez allegedly kept pulling her back in.
During the negotiations, the woman turned her handgun over to police in exchange for water, San Diego police said. Officers knew there was still at least one other weapon inside the dumpster.
At around 9 a.m. Tuesday, SDPD said SWAT officers had approached the dumpster as the woman was, again, trying to get out. They could hear the pair talking in there.
The SDPD said Marquez allegedly pushed the woman “into a position where they believed he was going to shoot her.”
As the SWAT officers saw Marquez allegedly moving a rifle towards the woman, two SWAT officers fired their service weapons at Marquez, hitting and killing him.
The woman was taken out of the dumpster and was not harmed, police said.
SDPD said the woman involved in the pursuit and standoff is not being identified at this time. It is unknown if she will face charges.
Marquez's Past Run-Ins With Police
In a press conference Tuesday morning, Hernandez said Marquez had been involved in another hours-long SWAT standoff in August 2019 outside a motel in National City.
In that encounter, Marquez barricaded himself inside an SUV parked outside an EZ-8 Motel on Outer Road for about 6 hours. At that time, the NCPD said Marquez was suspected in a hit-and-run crash, and was also being sought for a felony warrant, auto theft and felony evasion.
Hernandez said Marquez was also involved in an incident with police about three years ago, but he didn't share further details of that incident.
"He's a very dangerous person," Hernandez said.