Exclusive: FBI was actively investigating suspected SD cop shooter at the time of the shootout

Posted at 4:18 PM, Jul 02, 2018
and last updated 2018-07-02 20:16:38-04

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) - The FBI reports that it was actively investigating the man who allegedly opened fire on police officers in a Rolando condo complex, injuring two officers.

The now-deceased shooter, Joseph Darwish, was apparently being investigated after a tip was received that he was making suspicious purchases. He was not supposed to own any weapons, a condition from a restraining order stemming from an assault. It was reportedly the FBI’s second time investigating Darwish.

The FBI issued the following statement to 10News on Monday:

The FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force in San Diego opened an assessment of Joseph Darwish in December 2013 based on a tip. After conducting logical investigative steps, the assessment was closed in January 2014, when further investigative steps were not warranted and no evidence of criminal activity was found.

Earlier this year, the FBI and San Diego Police Department received additional information regarding Darwish making suspicious purchases after being convicted of a state misdemeanor assault charge. Upon receipt of this information, the Joint Terrorism Task Force initiated a new assessment to vet the information and determine whether Darwish was prohibited from purchasing or possessing the items. This assessment was ongoing at the time of the shooting incident on June 23, 2018.

It is important to note the heroism and bravery of law enforcement officers responding to calls for service all across San Diego. We thank the responding officers in this case for their brave service to the City of San Diego and hope for their speedy recovery.

The statement raises questions as to what the suspicious purchases were and whether the FBI was planning to search Darwish’s home before the shooting. The FBI would not answer 10News’ questions about possible search warrants.