Gunman arrested after a tense standoff with San Diego police

A man armed with authorities say could be a long-range rifle allegedly fired gunshots in the Bankers Hill neighborhood of San Diego Wednesday morning, prompting a standoff with police. Nov. 4, 2015. (KGTV San Diego)

A man suspected of shooting at San Diego police and then firing a high-powered rifle randomly out his apartment window for more than an hour was arrested Wednesday after a standoff of more than four hours.

Police identified the man as 33-year-old Titus Nathan Colbert of Las Vegas, a documented gang member with convictions for drugs, assault and witness intimidation.

Inside the apartment, police found a handgun and an “AK-47-style weapon,” San Diego Police Department Chief Shelley Zimmerman said.

The incident began around 9:25 a.m. when two officers and a police dog responded to a domestic-violence call directing the officers to a rooftop apartment in the Bankers Hill neighborhood north of downtown.

A woman had called police and said she feared that an ex-boyfriend was inside her apartment and might harm her, Zimmerman said.


When police enterred the apartment, a man inside fired several rounds at officers, who returned fire, according to police spokesman Lt. Scott Wahl. The rounds narrowly missed officers, he said. The dog was not injured.

Police immediately broadcast an “active-shooter” alert. The man continued to fire at police, Zimmerman said.

Dozens of officers rushed to the scene. Residents were told to stay in their homes, and streets were blocked off. A crisis negotiator was brought in to contact the man.

At 2:30 p.m., the San Diego police sent a tweet saying that officers are “still negotiating with the suspect for a safe resolution to this incident.”

Ten minutes later, police announced that the man was in custody. He was not injured but was taken to a hospital for examination as a precaution, according to Lt. Mike Hastings.

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In the first hours of the standoff, rifle shots were heard throughout the neighborhood, which is in the flight pattern of Lindbergh Field. The Federal Aviation Administration put a hold on all landings at the airport. The hold was lifted shortly before the suspect was in custody.

Two nearby schools were put on lockdown, officials said.

There are no indications anyone was wounded, Wahl said.

Among the authorities on scene were members of the SWAT squad and crisis negotiators, federal agents and sheriff’s deputies. Tear gas and “flash-bang” grenades were fired into the apartment.

After the arrest, Mayor Kevin Faulconer congratulated police: “Great job. Thank you for keeping Bankers Hill and San Diego safe.”

Colbert will be booked on suspicion of attempted murder of police officers, Zimmerman said.

The two officers who responded to the domestic violence call were described as veterans of eight and four years on the department.

Twitter: @LATsandiego


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