Suspect shot by police officer inside Carmel Mountain Ranch movie theater

Shooting on 11000 block of Carmel Mountain Road

SAN DIEGO -  

A San Diego police officer shot and critically injured a man inside a movie theater in Carmel Mountain Ranch.

Officer David Stafford said police went to Reading Cinemas Carmel Mountain 12 in the 11000 block of Carmel Mountain Road in response to a domestic violence call Saturday afternoon.

Stafford said the roughly 3:50 p.m. shooting occurred inside a theater. The officer was not hurt.

According to a dispatcher with the San Diego Fire-Rescue Department, one person with a gunshot wound was transported to Palomar Medical Center. There is no word on the person's condition.

U-T San Diego reports that witnesses were evacuated from the theater.

The incident started as a domestic dispute between a man and his girlfriend shortly before 2 p.m. at a nearby Marie Callender's restaurant. The man -- who police say had a gun -- threatened witnesses who tried to interfere in the dispute. Witnesses then called police.

The suspect was later located inside the movie theater, where he was confronted by police. Police said he was initially cooperative and put his hands up. However, according to police, he dropped his hand down and appeared to reach for the gun in his lap, prompting an officer to fire at least one shot. It was unclear where the man was hit.

"We were in the movie theater, and the lights turned on and… two cops came through with their guns," said one movie theater patron. "Apparently the person they were looking for was in the theater and then gunshots started."

Another added, "We all got on the floor and then started heading for the exits."

Nick Anastasopoulos, who owns the Athens Market Café near the theater, told 10News, "Each of the movie theaters was closed down one by one. I was told that the screen was shut and the lights were turned on… Uniformed police officers with shotguns went into the theater looking for someone."

No other injuries were reported. The suspect's girlfriend was unharmed.

The theater remained closed Saturday evening while police conducted their investigation. 

There was no word on when it will reopen.

Friday Theater Shooting

Saturday's shooting in Carmel Mountain Ranch was the second at a local theater this weekend.

San Diego County sheriff's deputies continued their search for the person who fired a gunshot through the front door of a San Marcos movie theater Friday night, wounding an employee inside.

Sheriff's Sgt. Dave Schaller said deputies were sent just before 9:10 p.m. to the 1100 block of West San Marcos Boulevard near the Edwards San Marcos Cinema on a call that the employee appeared to have been struck by a bullet fired from outside.

The victim was taken to a Palomar Medical Center for treatment. Her injuries were not considered to be life-threatening and she was expected to recover, Schaller said.

Investigators suspected the gunshot came from the theater parking lot or from San Marcos Boulevard. The bullet shattered a glass door that faced the parking lot, he said.

It did not appear the victim or the theater was intentionally targeted, Schaller said.

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