Officer hurt in City Heights shooting: 1 suspect taken into custody, female suspect sought

Police activity shuts down lanes on I-805, I-15

SAN DIEGO - A pursuit in the City Heights area ended with a shooting that left a police officer wounded, San Diego police said.

According to police, at about 2:15 p.m., SDPD detectives were conducting surveillance on a suspect with outstanding felony warrants in the 2700 block of Wightman Street.

After about an hour, the suspect -- identified as a Hispanic male and known gang member -- entered his vehicle and entered northbound Interstate 15 as uniformed officers followed him.

When officers tried to stop the suspect vehicle at the Adams Avenue exit, the suspect fled, prompting a pursuit, police said.

Following a lengthy pursuit on the freeway and surface streets, the suspect stopped in the 3000 block of Central Avenue, abandoned the vehicle and ran into a canyon in the 2800 block of 39th Street, police said.

A witness told 10News she saw the suspect trying to break into homes as he fled from officers.

Police said at about 3:30 p.m., officers heard gunfire coming from a drainage ditch in the canyon, and responding officers found a fellow officer shot in the chest, left leg and left arm. Police believe the officer was shot four times, and law enforcement sources told 10News his bulletproof vest may have saved his life.

It is not known if the officer returned fire.

The officer was taken to Scripps Mercy Hospital, and SDPD Chief William Lansdowne told 10News the injured officer was conscious and talking.

Police said the officer, who underwent surgery early Thursday evening, is expected to fully recover.

10News learned the injured officer is SDPD Officer Tim Bell. Bell's family members were notified of the incident, Lansdowne confirmed.

The suspect was apprehended about 15 minutes after the gunfire in the 2100 block of Haller Street, police said. He was taken to police headquarters for questioning.

A female that was in the suspect vehicle left the scene, but police said they are confident they will be able to identify her and take her into custody.

Due to the police activity, authorities shut down southbound and northbound Interstate 805 at state Route 15, as well as southbound and northbound SR-15 at I-805 for nearly two hours.

Interim Mayor Todd Gloria released this statement regarding Thursday's shooting:

"On behalf of all San Diegans, I extend my thoughts and prayers to the San Diego police officer who was wounded in the line of duty today. Thankfully, the officer is in stable condition and his injuries, while serious, are not life-threatening. I was in regular contact with Chief Lansdowne this afternoon and will visit with the officer and his family this evening. The incident is, of course, a reminder that the brave men and women of the San Diego Police Department put their lives on the line every day. This officer was shot while doing his job to keep our city safe."

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