SAN DIEGO – One police officer was shot and another killed late Thursday in San Diego.
San Diego Police Chief Shelly Zimmerman spoke outside of Scripps Mercy Hospital around 3 a.m. PST and said the two officers, both members of the department’s gang unit, reported that they were making a stop shortly before 11 p.m. Almost immediately afterward, they called for assistance. Other officers in the area arrived quickly and found that both officers had been shot.
Jonathan “JD” DeGuzman, a 16-year police veteran, died after being shot multiple times.
DeGuzman had a wife and two young children. Zimmerman said she worked alongside DeGuzman when she was a lieutenant, and she called his death “gut-wrenching.”
“Last night, he lost his life trying to make a positive difference trying to protect our community,” Zimmerman said.
DeGuzman’s partner, Wade Irwin, a 9-year veteran, is in serious condition after surgery and is expected to survive.
Both officers were wearing body cameras when they came under fire and police have recovered the video from those cameras.
A suspect, who was also wounded while being taken into custody in a ravine area off South 38th Street, was at a hospital in critical condition, the chief said. She declined to identify him, saying only that he was an “Hispanic male adult.”
It remained unclear whether the two officers were trying to make a pedestrian stop of a vehicle stop, but investigators have not evidence that a vehicle was involved.
A possibly related SWAT standoff was underway with someone who was believed to have holed up inside a home at South 41st and Epsilon streets, according to media reports. Police would not immediately confirm whether the standoff was related to the overnight shooting less than a mile away.
“You can imagine early in the morning when a chief knocks on the door of a family member,” Zimmerman said.
The wounded officer’s wife was with him at the hospital, she said.
Mayor Kevin Faulconer released the following statement:
“Last night we lost one of San Diego’s finest. We grieve for our fallen officer and stand with his family during this very difficult time. We also pray for the second officer shot last night as he recovers from surgery. Violence against the men and women who wear the badge is violence against us all. I ask all San Diegans and all people across our nation to join together in support of our officers who courageously protect our communities. We need them and they need us.”
The shooting comes less than two weeks after a man with ties to San Diego fatally ambushed officers in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, killing three and wounding three others. Officers in Dallas, where five were killed, were also targeted by a gunman earlier this month.