Man accused of shooting deputy testifies at retrial

Posted at 6:46 PM, Oct 23, 2018
and last updated 2018-10-23 21:54:56-04

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) -- The man accused of shooting two people outside a Metallica concert in the Gaslamp, including an off-duty sheriff’s deputy was back in court Tuesday.

In July Ray Pitoau had his first trial. He was found guilty of three firearm charges, including felon in possession of a gun.

The jury deadlocked when charging him with three counts of assault with a deadly weapon. The District Attorney’s Office refiled for a retrial.

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A few months later that retrial is in session and Pitoau now faces potential life in prison for allegedly shooting sheriff’s deputy Jason Philpot three times, aiming the gun at his brother, Joshua Philpot and shooting and hitting a third person walking by.

During his testimony Tuesday, Pitoau tells the jury he didn’t intent on actually firing the gun. "When I see the gun it was like okay you know what I mean, just show it to these guys. It be like okay split parts, I run this way they run that way. It be cool," Pitoau said.

Pitoau was asked by the defense attorney and prosecutor to recollect the night of August 7, 2017. The night he got into an altercation with the Philpot brothers and it ended in shots fired.

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When Pitoau grabbed the gun from his friend that night he tells the jurors he didn’t think Jason Philpot in law enforcement and would know how to remove a gun from a shooter.

“I had it in my right hand his left hand cam over my hand and his right hand came under my hand,” Pitoau continued. “So he grabbed the whole thing like he close don it so he started twisting my wrist."

 Pitoau went over the entire night and even included details of fleeing the country after he saw the shooting on the news the next morning. “I took off to Mexico, well I cut my hair, shaved my beard and then I walked to the trolley station and went to Mexico."

After a month in Tijuana he was brought back to the United States and immediately handed over to U.S. Marshals. The retrial will continue Wednesday.