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San Diego Releases Video Of Police Shooting At Downtown SDPD Headquarters

Body-worn camera footage where police shot an arrestee July 5, 2020, at SDPD ...

Credit: San Diego Police Department

Above: Body-worn camera footage where police shot an arrestee July 5, 2020, at SDPD headquarters who allegedly slipped out of handcuffs, grabbed an officer's gun and discharged the gun

The San Diego Police Department on Wednesday released surveillance and body-worn camera footage of a weekend confrontation during which three officers opened fire on an arrestee who allegedly slipped out of a set of handcuffs at downtown SDPD headquarters, grabbed an officer's gun and fired at least one round.

The 25-year-old suspect, who has yet to be publicly identified, sustained non-life-threatening wounds in the shooting, according to police. No officers were injured.

The events that led to the shooting began shortly before 6:30 p.m. Sunday, when police got a 911 call reporting that a man had threatened to stab at least one employee at a downtown hotel, according to SDPD public affairs.

Officers went to the hotel and took custody of the suspect, who had been pepper-sprayed and detained by hotel staff members. The patrol personnel believed the detainee was under the influence of a controlled substance, and a search of his pockets allegedly turned up methamphetamine and five credit cards that did not belong to him. The officers arrested him and took him to SDPD headquarters in the 1400 block of Broadway.

RELATED: Man Shot By San Diego Police Officers On Saturday Dies

At about 8 p.m., while seated by himself in the back of a patrol vehicle in a parking/detainee-processing area, the suspect managed to slip one of his wrists out of the handcuffs he was wearing, according to police. He then allegedly broke a plexiglass barrier in the vehicle, reached into a rear cargo area and grabbed a backpack containing an officer's backup pistol.

Hearing the commotion going on in the SUV, an officer checked on the suspect and saw that he was armed with the handgun, police said.

Officers drew their firearms and began shouting at the suspect to drop the weapon and show his hands, but he refused and allegedly fired at least one round out the back window of the patrol vehicle. Two officers responded by opening fire, wounding the man at least once in the upper body, police said.

After several minutes, the suspect reached out the broken window of the rear driver's side door of the SUV and opened it with the outside handle. He then got out with the handgun tucked in his waistband and walked to the back of the vehicle, still holding the backpack, according to police.

After making a failed attempt to open the rear hatch of the SUV, the suspect walked to the driver's door and tried to open it, prompting at least one officer to fire on him again. Police then sent in a service dog, which subdued the bleeding man and allowed them to get him back into custody.

Wednesday afternoon, police publicly identified the officers who opened fire on Bergman as Timothy Arreola, an eight-year member of the department; Michael Rodriguez, who has been with the SDPD for 10 months; and Paul Yi, who has served with the agency for six years.

SDPD homicide detectives are investigating the case, which is standard in cases involving officer shootings, whether or not they result in loss of life.

Once that probe is complete, the county District Attorney's Office will review the findings to determine whether the involved officers — whose names also have not been released — bear any criminal liability for their actions.

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