Thursday, April 8, 2010
A robbery suspect exchanged gunshots with a motorcycle officer today during a lunch-hour road chase through Pacific Beach and across Mission Bay Park, that ended when the man ran into a crowded restaurant complex next to the Sports Arena and shot himself to death, police said.
No other person was injured in the unusual incident, which started with the robbery of a Radio Shack store on Garnet Avenue at 12:30 p.m., according to police.
The suspect had a female passenger in his red Mazda 5, and was chased by a police motorcycle officer south on Ingraham Street, and repeatedly shot at the patrolman. The motorcycle officer returned fire at one point during the chase, SDPD Lt. Ernie Herbert told reporters.
After crossing over the San Diego River flood channel bridge, the man turned onto Sports Arena Boulevard in the Midway district. He then pulled to a stop in a parking lot off Hancock Street, jumped out of the car and bolted.
"The officer pursued him on foot, carefully going around corners because the suspect was still armed and dangerous at that point," Herbert said. "They got back to the back end of the complex, and the officer heard one shot (and) came around the corner to find that the suspect had taken his own life."
The suspect died on a sidewalk near Phil's BBQ. His name was withheld pending notification of his family.
No other injuries were reported.
Officers searched the busy area for the alleged robber's cohort, who may have fled from the getaway car with a shotgun, police said. Shortly before 1 p.m., a woman was taken into custody at a Chick-fil-A restaurant on Sports Arena Boulevard.
After witnesses identified her as the shooter's companion, she was arrested. Her name also was not immediately available.