Police Kill Gunman, 80, in Wheelchair

Times Staff Writer

A wheelchair-bound, 80-year-old man was shot and killed by two SWAT team officers Sunday when he pointed a pistol at the officers and pulled the trigger, San Diego police said.

The man’s gun did not fire, police said.

Warren H. (Jimmy) Harrington, who lived with his wife, Martha, in a condominium in the 2200 block of Del Mar Scenic Parkway, was shot about 9:43 p.m. and died of multiple gunshot wounds at Scripps Memorial Hospital in La Jolla about 15 minutes later.

Police officers arrived at the residence at 7:30 p.m. after it was reported that the man had a gun and was threatening to commit suicide. The Special Weapons and Tactics team arrived at the scene about 8:45 p.m.


During a more than two-hour standoff, Harrington’s wife and the Rev. Mike MacIntosh, a police chaplain, failed to talk him into giving up the gun. They left the condominium after Harrington put the gun to his chest, police said.

Police then entered the apartment. Harrington, who was confined to a wheelchair, pointed the .32-caliber revolver at them and pulled the trigger, police said. Officers Melvin Lofftus and Wayne Spees then fired almost simultaneously.

Investigators later determined that the bullets in Harrington’s gun were duds, a police spokesman said.

Harrington’s wife told police that her husband had been distraught for two weeks because he was confined to a wheelchair after suffering a stroke, the spokesman said.

Harrington’s daughter-in-law, Sue Harrington, said Monday that he had founded Harrington’s Appliances, once a chain with several outlets in San Diego County but that only the store on Upas Street in North Park remains.