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Image via WikipediaThis is an alert from "Nixle." From time to time I will be posting vital details of breaking news from this vital news source as soon as it is made available to the media. Sad news in San Diego this afternoon....
SAN DIEGO — San Diego Police Chief William Lansdowne said Sunday that the officer who was shot Saturday in an unprovoked attack has died. He was identified as Officer Jeremy Henwood, 36. He was a Marine reservist and had been deployed overseas three times, and had been with the Police Department for four years.
The announcement was made by the chief at a news conference held at police headquarters.
Police had said earlier that Henwood had been “very critically” wounded just after 5:30 p.m. Officers on Sunday wore their badges shrouded with black bands in honor of him.
Henwood was taken to Scripps Mercy Hospital in Hillcrest. One suspect in the shooting incident was confirmed dead.
The officer is the second in the department to be shot in the line of duty in 10 months.
The shooting occurred when the officer pulled alongside a black Audi at 45th Street and University Avenue in City Heights. Someone in the Audi pulled out a shotgun, pointed it out a passenger window and shot the officer in the head, said San Diego police Capt. Jim Collins. The vehicle is believed to have been involved in a shooting in unincorporated El Cajon earlier in the day.
“As far as we know, it was totally unprovoked,” Collins said. “He was not attempting to stop the suspect vehicle. He had no idea that was the suspect vehicle.”
About a half hour after the shooting, police tracked the suspects’ vehicle to an apartment three blocks away, on 48th Street. One suspect was killed after exchanging gunfire with police, and police believed a second suspect was holed up in an apartment Saturday night while a SWAT team maneuvered outside.
But about 10 p.m., police entered the apartment and found no one inside.
According to police radio chatter, officers were planning to go house-to-house in the neighborhood, where many residents had been evacuated. Over the next two hours, most officers left the area and residents were allowed back into the apartments where the SWAT operation had occurred. University Avenue was reopened except for the block where the officer had been shot.
The fatal series of incidents appears to have started about 5:20 p.m. on the outskirts of El Cajon when police responded to reports of a shooting at an In-N-Out restaurant near North Magnolia and Bradley avenues.
The victim, Martin Hanna, was sitting in his vehicle in the parking lot when he was approached by a man carrying a shotgun, according to the Sheriff’s Department, which is investigating the incident. The assailant fired one round at Hanna, striking him in the face, before fleeing in a black Audi with paper plates.
Hanna was taken to a hospital and is expected to survive, sheriff’s Lt. Larry Nesbit said.
A few minutes later, an El Cajon police officer with no knowledge of the In-N-Out shooting saw a black Audi speeding west on Interstate 8. The officer gave chase but stopped pursuit of the vehicle after its speeds topped 100 mph. The car was last seen going south on state Route 15.
At 5:29 p.m., San Diego police were alerted by the Sheriff’s Department to look for a black sedan wanted in connection with the In-N-Out shooting.
Three minutes later, “a female citizen got on the radio of one of our police officers and said an officer had been shot at 45th and University,” Collins said.
Collins said the officer, traveling alone, was stopped in the right lane of University headed east when the black vehicle pulled up next to him and a gun was fired from the passenger’s window.
Besides the driver, there may have been a passenger in the front seat, witnesses said. It’s not clear who fired the gun.
Within minutes, dozens of police cars from San Diego and surrounding jurisdictions filled University. Officers performed CPR, and crowds gathered at all the street corners nearby to watch and tell police what they saw.
About a half hour after the officer was shot, a black Audi was found parked in front of an apartment on 48th Street. A San Diego police helicopter spotted a man getting into the car with what appeared to be a shotgun. As police approached the vehicle, “the suspect produced the shotgun and several officers fired at the suspect,” Collins said.
The black car rolled backward down the street and crashed into a wrought iron fence.
The suspect was pronounced dead at the scene. Police did not provide any information about him Saturday night, including whether he is considered the gunman in either of the earlier shootings.
The car was towed away from the scene about 11 a.m. Sunday, and police were working to reopen the remaining road closures.
At an apartment complex nearby, Cesar Zamora, 16, said that he was watching a movie on TV when the gunfire broke out about 6 p.m.
cops were shooting at the black Audi while he was still driving it,” he said. “I went out and bullets were flying. One chipped my (apartment) window on the second floor.”
Cesar said he saw police bullets hit the rear right side of the Audi. He said the driver backed up and hit a fence, then a red car and came to a stop.