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Sheriff's deputy shoots, wounds suspect in Vista

San Diego County sheriff's deputies
Posted at 3:37 PM, Sep 28, 2021
and last updated 2021-09-29 14:59:07-04

VISTA, Calif. (KGTV) - The San Diego County Sheriff's Department is investigating following a deputy-involved shooting Tuesday afternoon.

According to the department, the shooting happened around 12:30 p.m. on the 1500 block of North Santa Fe Avenue when a caller reported being threatened with a weapon at a nearby 7-Eleven. Wednesday, SDSO identified the suspect as Omar Rojas, 21, and said the caller reported Rojas "acting bizarrely."

According to deputies, the man said he locked himself inside the car and called 911, and that Rojas produced a knife and slashed two tires on his car. When authorities arrived, Rojas fled into a residential area, the department said.

Bystanders were able to point deputies to the 1500 block of Kiva Lane, where Rojas was located in the backyard of a home.

“Deputies tried to de-escalate the situation & ordered the suspect to put down the knife. At some point, the suspect produced what appeared to be a rifle,” the department said.

During the confrontation, one deputy discharged his firearm and struck Rojas. He was taken to the hospital with non-life-threatening injuries and was “awake and talking," according to the department.

SDSO said the rifle turned out to be a pellet gun that was kept in the backyard of the home Rojas was located at. The residents of the home were not there at the time of the shooting.

“No deputies were hurt. Upon closer inspection, the rifle turned out to be a pellet gun,” the department added.

Rojas was arrested for assault with a deadly weapon upon a peace officer and felony vandalism, according to SDSO. He was in custody at the hospital on Wednesday. A pellet rifle and two knives were found at the scene, according to the department. The events leading up to the shooting were under investigation on Wednesday.

Anyone with information on the incident is asked to call SDSO's Homicide Unit at 858-285-6330, or after hours at 858-565-5200, or Crime Stoppers at 888-580-8477.