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Pursuit ends in shootout in Escondido; suspect killed, officer injured

Posted at 6:08 AM, Dec 27, 2021
and last updated 2021-12-27 15:42:17-05

ESCONDIDO, Calif. (KGTV) – A pursuit in San Diego's North County came to an end in Escondido Monday, with a suspect in a Vista homicide case dead and a police officer injured after an exchange of gunfire.

At around 11:19 p.m. Sunday in Escondido, an Escondido Police officer saw a 2018 Chevrolet Silverado pickup truck believed to be driven by a man wanted in connection with a deadly shooting in Vista hours earlier. However, when the officer attempted to pull the truck over, the driver sped away onto the freeway.

Over the course of several hours, officers pursued the truck onto northbound Interstate 5, then on southbound I-5, and then onto eastbound state Route 78. The truck ran over several spike strips during the chase, disabling three of its four tires.

At around 3 a.m., the truck returned to the Escondido area when authorities remotely disabled the vehicle via the truck's OnStar system. The truck then came to a stop on Mission Avenue near Gamble Street.

Escondido Police said the driver, identified as 39-year-old Ramona resident Roberto Cazares Salgado, got out of the truck and opened fire. Two officers returned fire, striking Salgado multiple times.

Listen to radio traffic of moment shots were fired (Courtesy: Broadastify)

Salgado was taken to a hospital where he died from his injuries, police confirmed.

Police said one of the officers who fired his weapon was shot in the chest by the suspect. The officer, who was wearing a protective vest at the time, was taken to the hospital for treatment of non-life threatening injuries and later released.

ABC 10News learned a woman who was a passenger in the vehicle was not injured in the incident and was detained for questioning.

According to authorities, Salgado was suspected of fatally shooting 42-year-old Florencio Rodriguez in Vista late Sunday afternoon.

San Diego County sheriff’s officials said deputies were called to the 1300 block of Teelin Avenue at around 5 p.m. in response to a reported shooting. Deputies arrived to find Rodriguez on the driveway of his home with at least one gunshot wound. He was pronounced dead at the scene despite life-saving measures.

Salgado was not at the scene when deputies arrived, but he was later identified as a suspect in the case.

Authorities said Rodriguez was “targeted,” and he and Salgado were former family members, but no other details were released.