In what looks like it could have been a conflict arising from a “love-triangle” – an incident this morning that began in or near an apartment at the intersection of Santa Cruz and Sunset Cliffs Boulevard ended with the police involved in a fatal shooting close to SeaWorld.
There are some conflicts in local news reporting on this incident, but around 9:12 a.m., Saturday, June 1, a man drew a gun on another guy in OB. Then the man with the gun drove off in a silver Volkswagan sedan – going north on Sunset Cliffs Blvd.
Meanwhile, someone had called 9-11, and when police arrived in the area, they saw the suspect’s vehicle and pulled it over just across the bridge over San Diego River. Officers ordered the man out of the vehicle, but apparently he didn’t immediately comply. He supposedly rummaged through the vehicle and then pulled up something that looked to the cops as a weapon. One officer fired. The guy got up and then was hit another time. He died after being taken to the hospital.
A witness, Mike O’Malley of Pacific Beach, told the media that he saw the shooting. He had stopped his car as it was the first car in a long line of vehicles halted – west of where police had pulled the Volkswagen over.
O’Mally recorded the incident on his cell phone. O’Malley said that he heard one cop yell over at the guy in the vehicle. The guy got out of the car holding something with both hands, reportedly in an aggressive stance. O’Malley witnessed the officer shooting the male. He said:
“I had an anxiety attack. It was traumatic. I saw someone die.”
O’Malley demonstrated to the U-T reporter the stance that the man took – “hands pressed together in the typical posture of someone holding a handgun, O’Malley said the man clearly made a move toward the officers.” O’Malley said:
“He made a very aggressive gesture with both of his hands extended before him in the direction of the police officers.”
The first shot put the man on the ground but O’Malley to the U-T reported that the guy ” was able to roll to his knees and get back up.” O’Malley said:
“He assumed the same aggressive pointing gesture, and then began walking toward the police officers when he was hit again, and that’s when he stayed down.”
O’Malley didn’t turn over his cellphone with the video to the press, although he did willingly hand it over to police. He explained;
“It’s video of somebody dying. It’s pretty sensitive to me. It was very upsetting.”
Another report had a man and woman walking home after having coffee seeing the man with a gun, and the man threatened to shoot the other guy. After the man with the gun fled, and was pulled over, several media accounts state:
The suspect did not comply. Instead, officials say the man walked over to the passenger side of his car and began rummaging through his vehicle. He reached between the seats and pulled out what officers described as a brown and silver object. Officials say the suspect allegedly raised the object and pointed it towards officers, as if it were a weapon.
Fearing for life, one of the officers closest to the suspect drew his duty weapon and fired at least one shot at the suspect.
Police reportedly found a handgun inside the suspect’s car. Also police said they discovered a knife. After the shooting, police blocked off SeaWorld Drive for hours, as they collected evidence and interviewed witnesses, diverting traffic all over the place for hours.
The U-T quotes a local musician – Christopher Leyva – who said he was at the residence when the man with the gun first arrived – to see a woman who lived there. When he was told to leave, he drew the gun. Levya said that the man with the gun and the woman were in a difficult relationship. He said:
“It’s a little bit of a Romeo and Juliet story … basically two lovers that cannot be together.”
La Jolla Patch CNS