3 in custody in connection with report of shots fired in City Heights

Search prompts school lockdowns in South Park

SAN DIEGO - A motorist opened fire on a pedestrian -- but missed -- while traveling through City Heights Wednesday afternoon, prompting a brief police chase that ended when the fleeing driver crashed his SUV into a gorge and made a failed attempt to escape on foot along with two cohorts.

A San Diego police detective who happened to be in the area shortly before 2:30 p.m. witnessed the non-injury shooting at Chamoune and Myrtle avenues, SDPD public affairs Lt. Andra Brown said.

Following the gunfire, the driver of the white Chevrolet Suburban, who had two passengers with him, sped off to the south. Other officers caught up with the vehicle about a mile away, near the intersection of Home and Fairmount avenues, and tried to pull it over.

The man behind the wheel refused to yield, fleeing to the west into South Park, where he lost control and crashed the vehicle into a canyon off 33rd Street, near Grape Street, Brown said.

"At times, it did reach high speeds and I can't tell you how high those speeds were … I know they were blowing stop signs and stoplights," said San Diego police Capt. Mark Jones.

Zach Carlson, who witnessed the crash, told 10News, "The car just went off the cliff and there was like two guys and stuff."

Officer fanned out through the neighborhood, capturing one of the suspects near the scene of the wreck and the other two hiding on residential properties along Felton Street. One of the men was taken to a hospital for treatment of injuries he apparently had suffered in the crash.

The arrestees' names were not immediately available, and the motive for the drive-by shooting was unclear.

Some nearby schools were locked down during the search for the suspects. Albert Einstein Academy, Golden Hill School, McKinley Elementary School, Brooklyn Child Development Center, Garfield High School and Monroe Clark Middle School were locked down during the investigation.

All lockdowns were lifted at about 3:20 p.m.

Police said officers recovered a weapon believed to be a handgun from the crash scene.

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