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One in custody after San Diego shooting prompts heavy police response

Police patrol vehicles line a street.
San Diego police patrol vehicles line Clairemont Mesa Boulevard on Thursday afternoon.
(K.C. Alfred / San Diego Union-Tribune)

San Diego police and SWAT officers converged in force on a busy street in the Clairemont Mesa neighborhood Thursday after an apparent shooting victim was found in front of a post office.

Within about two hours, officers had arrested one person and recovered a gun, Police Lt. Shawn Takeuchi said. But officers were still working to determine whether there might be a second person involved in the shooting.

Shortly before 2 p.m., police received multiple calls reporting a shooting in the area of Clairemont Mesa Boulevard and Clairemont Drive, Takeuchi said. Officers arrived to find a gunshot victim on the sidewalk in front of the post office and fire station.

The victim, who was in critical condition, was taken to a hospital, San Diego Fire-Rescue Department spokeswoman Mónica Muñoz said. Takeuchi said he had been taken into surgery.

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Two police officers on a rooftop.
San Diego police officers take up positions on a rooftop.
(K.C. Alfred / San Diego Union-Tribune)

Macy Mohrlock and her boyfriend, Chris Russell, came across a chaotic scene as they drove up to the post office. They said they saw a man lying on the walkway in front of the post office, with his pants down to his ankles. Bystanders were rushing to help the man. Some started CPR.

Soon afterward, officers pulled up. One officer grabbed medical equipment and took over the CPR efforts.

Takeuchi said witnesses reported there had been one, possibly two gunmen.

Soon, dozens of patrol cars lined Clairemont Mesa Boulevard, and police surrounded an apartment complex on Clairemont Mesa at Dubois Drive, just west of Genessee Avenue.

Adam Hostomsky, who lives in a third-floor condo overlooking a church and an alley, said he looked out a window when he heard a police helicopter. He saw several officers in tactical gear throughout the area, including a police sniper on the church rooftop.

The area is next to Northminster Presbyterian Church, which includes a preschool, and ensuring the safety of the children played into the decision to order the large police response.

Police could be heard over the scanner about 2:40 p.m. saying the mission was to “secure the kids inside the church.” Children were later seen being escorted from the preschool to nearby Clairemont Square shopping center.

Figueroa, Kucher and Riggins write for the San Diego Union-Tribune.


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