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Deputies Kill Man Menacing Drivers

A man who reportedly threatened motorists on California 94 with a 5-foot shovel Wednesday was shot to death by two sheriff’s deputies near Barrett Junction, southeast of Jamul, authorities said.

Deputies William C. Smith and Gary Vanderford tried to talk the unidentified suspect off the highway, but opened fire when “the man assaulted the deputies,” Sheriff’s Lt. Gary Alschbach said.

The man died at the scene and traffic along part of the highway was backed up from 1 p.m., roughly the time of the shooting, until 6:30 p.m., Alschbach said.

He said Smith had been responding to a call when he spotted the man “menacing” passing motorists. Smith requested help from a second deputy and, when Vanderford arrived, the two confronted the suspect.

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The sheriff’s homicide detail is investigating the killing.

The coroner’s office said Wednesday night that the man carried no identification and appeared to be a transient. He was described as thin, between 50 and 60 years old, and his only possessions were two blankets and a pack of Mexican cigarettes. He wore pieces of green cloth for shoes.


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