CHULA VISTA, Calif. -- A member of a federal law enforcement task force fatally shot a suspect who allegedly became combative Tuesday afternoon in a confrontation at an Eastlake-area strip mall during an undercover drug trafficking operation.
Five other suspects were later arrested.
The federal agents were taking part in an undercover narcotics investigation at The Shops at San Miguel Ranch at 2310 Proctor Valley Rd. in Chula Vista at about 2 p.m. when one of six suspects they had contacted became violent, according to Chula Vista police.
The agents were part of a Homeland Security Investigations Federal Drug Task Force known as Operation Alliance. During the operation, one of the trafficking suspects allegedly assaulted an HSI agent in an attempt to rob him.
The assault prompted the agent to open fire on the suspect with a handgun, wounding him. The suspect was taken to Scripps Mercy Hospital in Hillcrest, where he later died. He was later identified as 22-year-old Fernando Geovanni LLanez, a part time resident of San Diego and Tijuana.
Following the gunfire, the suspects fled in different directions and HSI contacted Chula Vista police for assistance. Three suspects got into a Ford Focus. Following a short chase, they later crashed into a nearby apartment building in the 2200 block of Huntington Point Court. All three suspects then ran from the car on foot, but were later caught. They were identified as 20-year-old Jesus Rizo, 19-year-old Rafael Morataya-Aguilar and Jovani Bernal-Moreno. They may have tried to carjack a vehicle after their Focus crashed, police said.
Meanwhile, officers had locked down the shopping center where the shooting occurred and asked residents and workers to shelter indoors. They eventually found a fourth suspect, 31-year-old Sergio Arias-Ibarra, hiding in the trunk of a Chevrolet Cruz in the shopping center parking lot.
A fifth suspect was apprehended at the border in San Ysidro late Tuesday night. He was identified as 22-year-old Miguel Parra.
The five suspects will face charges of possession of marijuana with intent to sell, robbery and conspiracy.
The agent who shot and killed the suspect was taken to the hospital for evaluation. He was treated and released.
Chula Vista police will investigate the agent-involved shooting in concert with HSI.