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Suspected car thief shot, wounded in El Cajon officer-involved shooting

Posted at 10:18 AM, Feb 12, 2020
and last updated 2020-02-13 11:05:38-05

EL CAJON, Calif. (KGTV) -- A suspected car thief was shot and wounded during a confrontation with police Wednesday, forcing the closure of an El Cajon street and prompting an investigation into the officer-involved shooting.

On the morning of Feb. 12, El Cajon Police Department officials said an out-of-state law enforcement agency notified them of a stolen Kia sedan within the City of El Cajon.

Using the information obtained from the agency, officers tracked down the vehicle parked in the 500 block of S. Johnson Avenue just before 9 a.m. and they “confirmed the vehicle was stolen.”

Officers approached the car and saw a man sleeping while in the driver’s seat. The man woke up as officers were preparing to arrest him.

According to officials, the officers identified themselves as police officers and ordered the man to “show them his hands.”

However, according to officials, the man refused the order and “repeatedly reached under his clothing and into his waistband.”

Officials stated: “The suspect continued to ignore the officer’s commands and stated something similar to ‘Shoot me before I do it!’ while reaching into his waistband. Believing the suspect was armed, one of the officers on scene fired two rounds, striking the suspect at least one time in the torso. The suspect continued to disobey the officer’s commands by refusing to show his hands. He told the officers, ‘Kill me please.’ The suspect ultimately showed his hands, was removed from the vehicle, and was immediately given first aid until medics arrived. Medics quickly responded and the suspect was immediately transported and is being treated at a local hospital.”

No other injuries were reported in the incident.

Police officials said the suspected car thief, who was not identified, was taken into custody on suspicion of felony auto theft. He is expected to be booked into jail once he is released from the hospital.

“No firearms were located in the suspect’s possession or in the stolen car,” officials noted.