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Burglary suspect who was fatally shot by La Mesa Police officer ID'd

La Mesa police officer-involved shooting 8-6-23
Posted at 2:12 PM, Aug 11, 2023

SAN DIEGO (CNS) - Authorities Friday publicly identified a burglary suspect who was fatally shot by a La Mesa police officer last weekend during a confrontation in a neighborhood near the junction of Interstate 8 and state Route 125.

Jason Hampton, 41, allegedly pulled a 9mm pistol when two officers approached him in a parking lot at a condominium complex in the 8000 block of University Avenue about 4:15 p.m. Sunday, according to the San Diego Police Department, which investigates law enforcement shootings in La Mesa under the terms of a countywide agreement.

Hampton, the subject of a felony burglary warrant, apparently tried to fire the gun at one of the officers, but it jammed, SDPD Lt. Steve Shebloski said.

RELATED: One dead following officer-involved shooting at La Mesa apartment complex

The suspect then ran off, and one of the patrolmen, LMPD Officer Brian Heller, fired on him.

"As the suspect continued to run towards University Avenue, it appeared (he) was trying to ... clear the firearm of the malfunction," Shebloski said.

Heller then fired again, wounding Hampton in the upper body and causing him to collapse and drop his gun. Despite lifesaving efforts on the part of the officers and paramedics, the suspect died at the scene.

The encounter resulted in no other injuries, though a passing vehicle and a building were struck by gunfire, the lieutenant said.

Heller has been with the La Mesa Police Department for about six years. His supervisors have put him on paid leave pending completion of investigations in the case, as is routine in instances of law enforcement shootings.