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Two San Diego officers in deadly shootout wore body cameras

Body-camera video of fatal shooting in San Diego to be sent to district attorney but won't be made public

The shootout that left a San Diego police officer wounded and a suspected gunman dead may prove to be the first high-profile incident in which body cameras worn by San Diego officers are key in determining what happened.

Officers Heather Seddon and Joshua Hodge were wearing body cameras during the deadly confrontation after a high-speed chase Sunday morning with a shooting suspect, Lt. Mike Hastings said.

Seddon, a five-year veteran of the department, was wounded in the neck by the suspect, officials said.

Hodge, a four-year veteran, was one of two officers who fired at 34-year-old Dennis Richard Fiel. The other officer was Mario Larrera, a five-year veteran.

Fiel, suspected of a series of shootings at buildings in the Kearny Mesa area in recent weeks, was pronounced dead at the scene of Sunday's incident in the Kearny Mesa area.

Seddon is in good condition at a local hospital and eager to get back to work, San Diego police Chief Shelley Zimmerman said at a news conference Monday.

Hastings said the video from the two cameras would be reviewed and then forwarded to the district attorney's office as part of the officer-involved shooting investigation.

About 600 San Diego officers are equipped with the small cameras, making the department one of the largest in the country to use them. City officials hope that several hundred more officers will have the cameras by year's end.

In devising the department's body-camera policy, Zimmerman has declined to promise to make the videos public, an action that was criticized by the American Civil Liberties Union.

The department has also been criticized for a failure of a beat officer to switch on his body camera before a late-night fatal shooting April 30 behind an X-rated bookstore in the Midway district. The officer was responding to a 911 call that a man was threatening bookstore customers with a knife.

Like Sunday's incident, the Midway shooting will be reviewed by the district attorney's office to determine whether charges should be filed against the officer.

Twitter:@LATsandiego

 

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