Police ID San Diego Cop Wounded In Shootout
SDPD also names officers involved in fatal shooting of the suspect
A San Diego police officer wounded when a fleeing suspect opened fire on her during a foot chase in Clairemont is making a good recovery, Police Chief Shelley Zimmerman said Monday afternoon.
"I visited with her again this morning, and she is in excellent spirits and very eager to get out of the hospital," the chief said of Officer Heather Seddon, a five-year member of the force.
Seddon and other patrol personnel were running after 34-year-old Dennis Richard Fiel of San Diego on Sunday morning in a neighborhood just north of Sharp Memorial Hospital when he pulled a gun and shot her, prompting fellow Officers Joshua Hodge and Mario Larrea to return fire, police Lt. Mike Hastings said. Fiel died at the scene.
Medics took Seddon to the nearby hospital, where she was treated for bullet wounds to her neck, where a round initially struck her, and shoulder, where it lodged.
Hastings said the events that led to the shootout began shortly after 7:30 a.m., when police came across Fiel — a suspect in a months-long series of non-injury shootings of buildings in Kearny Mesa — as he was driving at high speed in a gray late-model Jeep on Interstate 805, near Convoy Street.
Refusing to yield, Fiel merged onto state Route 163 and continued on to the south for a short distance before exiting at Mesa College Drive, where the pursuing officers lost sight of his vehicle.
Police searched the area and soon found the Jeep abandoned in an alley off Annrae Street. They then spotted the suspect walking nearby, and he bolted when they tried to contact him, Hastings said. Moments later, the volley of gunfire erupted.
Several body cameras worn by the officers recorded the chase and shootings, Hastings told reporters during a briefing at downtown police headquarters. Police have reviewed the footage and forwarded it to the District Attorney's Office, which will determine if the officers' use of lethal force was justified, the lieutenant said.
Fiel was a suspect in six shootings that have damaged windows on commercial structures, including a 7-Eleven store and a San Diego Gas & Electric office building, over the past four months. During a search of his home following the officer-involved shooting, investigators found an assault rifle, ammunition and a large marijuana-growing setup, Hastings said.
Police said that Hodge has been with the San Diego Police Department for four years, and Larrea for five, police said.