Suspected armed robber injured in police shootout
Incident reported in Chula Vista
Last Updated: 215 days ago
CHULA VISTA, Calif. - A man suspected of carrying out an armed robbery at a South Bay drugstore early Monday morning was wounded a short time later in an exchange of gunfire with an officer, authorities reported.
The officer arrived at the CVS Pharmacy on Third Avenue in Chula Vista in response to the holdup shortly after 1:30 a.m. and immediately spotted a man matching the bandit's description near the business, according to police.
"Initially the suspect, before anybody knew it was a robbery, the suspect was wandering near the pharmacy. One of the employees asked what he was doing, told him he couldn't be back there," said Chula Vista police Capt. Gary Wedge. "The suspect also pointed the handgun at a customer who was inside the store, demanded the customer's keys … ultimately took the customer's keys and left the business."
Before the officer was able to get out of his cruiser, the suspected robber fired several shots in his direction, then walked off toward nearby Eucalyptus Park, Wedge said.
A moment later, however, the man turned around and headed back toward the pharmacy, the captain said.
"While doing so, the suspect pointed his gun at the officer," Wedge said. "Believing the suspect was going to shoot at him again, the officer, who was now out of his vehicle, fired three rounds from his patrol rifle, striking the suspect once in the leg."
Medics took the suspect to a hospital, where he will remain under guard until he has recovered enough to be transferred to county jail, the captain said.
The officer, a 13-year member of the Chula Vista Police Department, was uninjured. Authorities did not immediately release his name or that of the suspected robber.
It was a "pretty traumatic event" but the officer involved was doing fine, Wedge said.
Officers gathering evidence at the scene of the shootings recovered a small-caliber pistol believed to have been wielded by the robber, money that apparently had been stolen from the business and car keys taken from a customer under threat of violence during the holdup.
Traffic lanes were closed in the area to allow for investigations until shortly after 10:30 a.m., Lt. Buddy Magor said.
Police said the suspected robber may face two counts of armed robbery and attempted murder of an officer.
Copyright 2012 Scripps Media, Inc. City News Service contributed to this report. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.