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Police investigating break-in and shooting in Tierrasanta neighborhood

Tierrasanta shooting
Posted at 8:44 AM, Apr 09, 2022
and last updated 2022-04-09 17:39:49-04

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) –San Diego police are investigating a break-in and shooting at a home in the Tierrasanta neighborhood early Saturday morning.

SDPD tells ABC 10 News that they received a call at approximately 12:30 a.m. about someone trying to break into a home in the 4000 block of Rueda Drive. The suspect was unsuccessful and drove away in a stolen white minivan.

About thirty minutes later, while officers were searching the area for the suspect, dispatch received a report about a bald man between 20 and 30-years-old had tried to force his way into a home in the 5300 block of La Cuenta Drive. The suspect fled before officers could arrive at the area.

At approximately 2:00 a.m., police received another report of a suspect who had broken into a home in the 10900 block of Viacha near Tierrasanta Boulevard. The suspect entered the home where a 53-year-old woman and her elderly father were inside at the time.

“They barricaded themselves into a room. That male broke down that door, entered that room, and in there threatened them. There was an assault. A firearm was produced, and the man had a gun and fired into the room, SDPD Captain Rich Freeman said.

Officers arrived to the home shortly after and found the white minivan parked in the driveway. It had previously been reported stolen in a carjacking, according to SDPD.

After hearing screams coming from inside the home, officers forced themselves in and confronted the suspect. The suspect ignored the officers' commands, took the woman hostage at gunpoint, and forced her into another room. Police said, "During the totality of this interaction, the suspect exposed himself and sexually battered the homeowner multiple times."

Officers were able to get the father onto the balcony where an officer climbed into to protect him.

While the officers were trying to negotiate with the suspect, he shot at least one round inside of the room. A short time later another officer had climbed onto a neighbor’s roof and fired multiple rounds at the suspect through the window. No injuries were reported.

The suspect did drop to the ground, throw the gun away, and was taken into custody. The woman and the father made it out of the home safely.

The suspect was identified as 40-year-old Demetrius Trussell. He was booked into jail on multiple charges including hot prowl burglary, kidnapping, false imprisonment with a hostage, negligent discharge of a firearm, possession of a stolen vehicle, indecent exposure, assault with the intent to commit a sex crime, sexual battery, multiple counts of assault with a deadly weapon and a parole hold.

Homicide investigators responded to the scene and are in the process of collecting evidence and interviewing witnesses.

The unidentified officer who fired the rounds has been employed with SDPD for about eight years and is assigned to the Eastern Division patrol.

When SDPD’s homicide unit completes its investigation, it will then be reviewed by the San Diego County District Attorney’s Office will then review it to determine if the officer bears any criminal liability for his actions.

The SDPD’s Internal affairs unit will investigate to determine if there were any policy violations, while the shooting review board will evaluate the officer’s tactics, police said. The Commission of Police Practices is also reviewing the incident for potential recommendations.

The Federal Bureau of Investigations and the United States Attorney’s Office is also monitoring the investigation.

Anyone with information about the incident is asked to call the homicide unit at 619-531-2293 or Crime Stoppers at 888-580-8477.