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UPDATE: SDPD releases identity of deputy who shot man at Vista church

Iglesia Ni Cristo deputy-involved shooting
Posted at 11:54 AM, May 10, 2023
and last updated 2023-05-10 14:54:35-04

VISTA, Calif. (KGTV) — The San Diego Police Department has identified the sheriff's department deputy who shot a 77-year-old man who threatened to harm himself at a Vista church on Sunday.

At around 12:30 p.m. Sunday, deputies responded to Iglesia Ni Cristo, located at 1418 Calle Jules, after receiving a report of a man holding a gun to his head. Deputies tried to get the man to lower the weapon, but he ignored their commands and walked towards the deputies in the parking lot, according to SDPD.

That's when one deputy shot the man in the leg once, causing him to drop the gun, SDPD's press release says. He was taken to the hospital for treatment of minor injuries, police say.

RELATED: Eyewitnesses describe Vista shooting involving deputy, 77-year-old man

Wednesday morning, SDPD identified Justin Williams as the deputy who shot the man. Williams has been on the sheriff's department force for about three years, and he currently works as a patrol deputy out of the Vista substation, SDPD says.

Police have also identified the 77-year-old man, but his name is not being released at this time. The San Diego County District Attorney's Office is still deciding whether to charge him with any crimes.

For transparency purposes, it is San Diego County Sheriff's Department protocol for the police department to take the lead in investigating deputy-involved shootings. Following an "extremely thorough" investigation from SDPD's Homicide Unit, the District Attorney's Office will review the case and determine if Williams should face criminal liability.

Additionally, the sheriff's department will conduct its own administrative investigation into Williams firing his gun. The Citizens' Law Enforcement Review Board will also review the case and provide recommendations as necessary.

RELATED: San Diego Police investigating deputy-involved shooting at a Vista church