SAN DIEGO - 10News has obtained dramatic audio recordings of police radio calls, detailing moments of a high-speed chase that ended with an officer shot multiple times in a drainage tunnel.
The shooting took place at 39th and Quince streets. Officer Tim Bell was shot multiple times in a culvert that runs underneath Interstate 805 and Interstate 15.
The audio recordings detailed the moment when shots were fired.
Caller: Shots fired! (inaudible) Shots fired! Ok shots fired, again shots fired,
Dispatcher: Ok shots fired, again shots fired 2800 39th in a culvert
The chase started in the 3700 block of Wightman where police were conducting surveillance of a known gang member who had several outstanding warrants for his arrest. About an hour after the surveillance began, the suspect got into his car and bolted.
The chase was a lengthy one that led to the gridlock in the I-805 and I-15 freeways.
Scanner audio: Spikes at Wightman and 41st. Ok spikes at Wightman and 41st. All right… coming up on the dead end of Central now.
When the suspect got to Central Avenue, he ditched his car and ran.
Several officers followed closely behind on foot.
Scanner audio: Driver's out. He's running. Still running southbound.
The suspect ran inside the drainage culvert through a City Heights canyon. Shortly after, gunshots rang out.
Witnesses said they heard what sounded like pops, but it echoed throughout the canyon.
"It was pop, pop, it was more like pop, pop," said Karen Hall.
The audio recordings revealed that there was a concern that the suspect was armed with the officer's gun.
Scanner audio: Officer down. Officer shot and he's possibly armed with an officer's gun.
Police have yet to confirm whether the suspect was able to somehow wrestle the officer's gun away from him.
After the shooting, the suspect kept running.
Another resident said she watched as the suspect tried to break into homes to get away from police.
"We heard this guy screaming like something along the lines of 'Let me in or something,'" the woman said. "Just kind of seemed like he was out of his mind, like frantic, so we kind of peaked through out little gate and we see that he's banging on the doors and trying to get in through the backyards."
At the same time, other officers were tending to Bell and dragged him to safety.
Scanner audio: We've scooped the officer en route to Mercy hospital code 3 let them know we're coming.
The suspect was arrested later. 10News cameras were there as he was taken into police headquarters in downtown San Diego escorted by police.
Police said they're continuing to investigate. 10News learned that Bell ran after the suspect and chased him inside the culvert alone. There was also a woman riding with the suspect. When the suspect bailed, she also fled. That woman is still at-large.