La Mesa gas station attack: Sheriff's deputy stabbed, suspect shot

LA MESA, Calif. - A confrontation between sheriff's personnel and a suspect at a gas station near Grossmont Center mall Tuesday left a sheriff's deputy with a stab wound to the leg and the alleged assailant wounded by a second deputy's gunfire.

Sheriff’s investigators say Allan Riley of La Mesa was responsible for the violent encounter that occurred at Center and Jackson drives in La Mesa about 9:15 a.m.

The deputies were responding to a report of a suspicious person when a man attacked one of them, prompting another to open fire to stop the assault, La Mesa police Lt. Angela DeSarro told reporters.

"The man resisted arrest. The two got into a struggle," said Lt. Glenn Giannantonio, who is with the sheriff’s homicide unit. "The man pulled a knife out and stabbed the deputy in the leg."

The knife that was used in the attack was a fixed-blade knife found lying on the ground near the gas pumps, with the sheath to the knife not far away.

"They obtained his name, ran a check on him and it was found out that he possibly had a felony arrest warrant," said Giannantonio.

Those warrants include burglary, possession of a dagger and being under the influence.

The deputies were in La Mesa as part of what is known as SADLE or Sheriff's Analysis Driven Law Enforcement team. The deputies were working with the La Mesa Police Department on an operation to combat serious and prolific offenders in the area.

"As far as I know, he was not specifically being targeted as part of this investigation," said Giannantonio. "A deputy sheriff or any peace officer can contact anyone when they are out in public and it appears that was the case here."

It was first believed that the suspect was the driver of a black former patrol car that remained at the scene all day, but it was later determined that the driver had nothing to do with the crime.

Riley, who is believed to be under the influence at the time of the attack, was shot in the abdomen and was taken to a nearby hospital. He is expected to survive. Riley will be booked on a charge of attempted murder of a peace officer.

The injured deputy was taken to another hospital but has since been released. 10News has learned that he and his partner will be placed on administrative leave while the investigation continues.

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