3 off-duty San Diego police officers questioned about gunfire at Escondido shopping mall

Incident happend March 6 at North County Fair Mall

ESCONDIDO, Calif. - Three off-duty San Diego police officers were questioned by Escondido police after reports of late-night gunfire at the North County Fair Mall.

The incident happened on March 6 at about midnight in a darkened section of the mall's parking lot near the On The Border restaurant.

According to Escondido police Investigations Bureau Capt. Mike Loarie, a member of the mall's security detail called police to report the sound of gunfire and people running in the parking lot. When officers arrived, they found three armed off-duty SDPD officers.

Escondido police said they did not find any bullets or any evidence of damage from gunfire.

Although Loarie said the off-duty officers were cooperative and were not intoxicated, he told 10News the situation "smelled bad."

Loarie explained that without any evidence, there was no crime and without a crime, there was no reason to make an arrest.

Instead, Escondido turned the three off-duty officers to their own department for an internal review.

Sources told 10News the officers had missing rounds in the magazines of their pistols, but Escondido police would not confirm that.

SDPD public affairs Lt. Andra Brown told 10News, "There is no evidence to suggest any crime was committed."  

Brown added that there would be an internal follow-up and review of the officers' actions. She told 10News all three officers remain on duty because there is no evidence against them.

10News asked Escondido police whether this incident was handled differently since the subjects were members of the law enforcement family.

"Absolutely not," said Loarie, who added that if they hadn't been police officers they would have been released without having the incident reported to anyone.

Firing a weapon in a public place is a misdemeanor.

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