Shots have been fired at police officers at 3:30 p.m. on Wednesday in Encinitas, California. Two deputies have been injured in the incident, none of whom are in life-threatening condition.
Police have evacuated 9 homes in the Leucadia neighborhood, as the armed suspect is presumably still at the 700 block of Del Rio Avenue address.
Fox 5 San Diego reports that members of the sheriff’s office Special Enforcement Detail first went out to the residence at around 1 p.m., returning two hours later as they were unable to locate the suspect the first time.
Los Angeles Times adds that the police were called in by a 22-year-old man's mother, who reported her son had stolen her car following an argument regarding the restraining order she had issued against him; the suspect is fighting a drug addiction, and has been acting in an aggressive, abusive manner towards her.
She called the police twice, first when he stole her car, and second when he returned home and refused to leave. Meanwhile, the woman has reportedly managed to leave the residence, while her son has taken over her property.
The gunman allegedly fired at the deputies from inside the house as they tried entering it, wounding two of them.
According to an account by Steve Schwier of San Marcos, doing plumbing work in the area, one of the officers has received a shot to the head, while a second one has taken a bullet to the knee. The first deputy has undergone surgery and is now recovering.
“I see the deputies going into the house and I heard three shots – sounded like a 44 or bigger caliber gun.
“The next thing I know, I see four [deputies] in a group and one of them has a rag on his head, he evidently took a head shot. Then I found out another one was wounded in the knee,” Schwier describes.
The gunman wreaked havoc by opening fire inside the house, prompting the witness to take cover behind his van.
“All hell broke loose. A deputy was running down the street with his gun drawn. He screamed at his partner to ‘get the hell down here right now,’” he recalls.