A man in an eastern San Diego condominium opened fire on police officers and firefighters late Saturday night, wounding two officers and ending with the suspect’s death.
The injured officers were rushed to a local hospital, where one remained in serious condition but was stable and another was stable with less serious wounds, Police Chief David Nisleit told reporters at a Sunday morning news conference. He confirmed that the officers are expected to fully recover.
“If you could imagine, when you hear 11-99 [officer needs help] come out over a police radio it’s the worst call you can ever get,” Nisleit told reporters. “… When you get that call, your stomach just sinks and you’re just hoping that nobody dies.”
The officers, both male, have three and 18 years of experience on the force. Their names were not released.
The incident began when three officers responded to the Tuscany Place condos on Rolando Court north of El Cajon Boulevard in the College Area neighborhood after someone called 911 reporting a violent disturbance about 10:15 p.m., Nisleit said.
When officers arrived, they knocked on the door and got no response, he said. However, they smelled what seemed to be smoke coming from the first-floor unit and called San Diego firefighters for backup, Nisleit said.
When they forced open the door, “they were met by gunfire,” the chief said, confirming that two officers were hit.
At least two officers were able to return fire, he said. Several rounds in the gunfight pierced neighboring units.
The injured officers and one firefighter were pulled out of the building on a ladder, police said.
“I really want to thank all the local law enforcement agencies and the Fire Department for such a quick response, [for] really getting to the scene quickly, getting our officers the care they needed and getting them transported to the local hospitals,” Nisleit said.
Homicide Capt. Mike Hastings said at the 7:30 a.m. news conference that investigators were waiting for a search warrant to be approved so they could get into the condominium where the shooting occurred. He said homicide detectives remained at the scene interviewing witnesses.