Neighbor describes Rolando gunman as volatile, dangerous

Posted at 10:06 AM, Jun 26, 2018
and last updated 2018-06-26 13:06:59-04

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) - A woman who had several confrontations with Rolando shooting suspect Joe Darwish told 10News she was “terrified” every day by his behavior.

Heather Dumitru lived next door to Darwish at Tuscany Place on Rolando Court, but she has not been to the complex in months.

Dumitru said she called police multiple times when Darwish had mental breakdowns. She told 10News she even tried to get her neighbor help.

Darwish, she said, was a good person when he was taking his medication regularly. However, he was dangerous when he was off the medication.

“He’s chased me down the hall with a knife … thrown things at the wall and at his door when I would have to walk past his door to leave. He was pushing studs out of the wall, through the wall,” Dumitru said.


She called 911 on many occasions, the worse situation being January 2017 when he snapped after his mother staged an intervention.

“He jumped on top of me and grabbed the side of my head and used my hair as a handle and smashed my head into the ground repetitively until I lost consciousness,” Dumitru said.

Dumitru told 10News her heart goes out to the San Diego police officers were shot in Saturday’s ordeal. She said she wishes she would have succeeded in getting her neighbor the help he so desperately needed.

“I feel sad … it didn’t need to get to the point where three more people were injured,” she said.

Dumitrus suffers from short-term memory loss and has a traumatic brain injury. She said she had to drop out of school due to PTSD from the episode with Darwish.