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Public Safety

Suspect In Ocean Beach SWAT Standoff Arrested

At the scene of a fatal shooting and standoff in Ocean Beach, June 23, 2016.
At the scene of a fatal shooting and standoff in Ocean Beach, June 23, 2016.

A man suspected of fatally shooting an acquaintance at a Point Loma Heights condominium complex surrendered in the East Village Thursday morning, about 8 1/2 hours after the deadly gunfire shook up the coastal neighborhood.

Patrol officers responding to reports of gunfire found the mortally wounded 35-year-old victim on the ground in the 4100 block of Voltaire Street about 11:15 p.m. Wednesday, according to San Diego police. The man, whose name was withheld pending family notification, died at the scene.

Witnesses reported that the assailant had retreated into a nearby residence, Lt. Ray Valentin said. Officers tried in vain to contact the suspect, identified as 32-year-old Thomas Francis Burke, then called in a SWAT team to take positions around the residence and prepare to forcibly enter if necessary.


The stalemate continued past daybreak, until a detective was able to get ahold of Burke on the suspect's cellphone. Burke agreed to turn himself in and did so a short time later at 16th and F streets in downtown San Diego. He was booked into county jail on suspicion of murder.

The suspect and victim knew each other, Valentin told reporters, declining to elaborate. The motive for the killing was unknown, the lieutenant said.

Police were unsure if Burke had been in the surrounded condo at all during the standoff or if he might have left the area unnoticed beforehand.

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