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San Diego deputies shoot, kill shovel-wielding murder suspect

A murder suspect was shot and killed Monday night after advancing "in a rapid manner" on San Diego County sheriff's deputies while armed with a shovel, officials said.

The man ignored repeated demands to drop the shovel, according to the Sheriff's Department. He was declared dead at the scene in rural Alpine, east of San Diego.

Officials said the incident began when deputies responded about 6 p.m. to a call about an abandoned car with its flashing lights on. The murder suspect was found hiding in a nearby carport, officials said.

The dead man was described only as a suspect in a murder investigation begun earlier by San Diego police. On Monday afternoon, police had issued a bulletin about a 61-year-old man wanted in connection with the stabbing death of his 51-year-old wife, saying he was armed and dangerous.


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-- Tony Perry in San Diego 

Comments () | Archives (31)

Hey you CAN fix stupid! Lead appears to work!

Can a Shovel Kill You?

Which goes to show everyone...don't bring a shovel to a gun-fight.

"With all the rash of cop shootings, I'm beginning to think they enjoy killing suspects."

With the rash of ignorant posts, Im beginning to think that America is doomed.

"They couldn't have shot him in the knee or tasered him?"

This isnt a movie or a video game. Police are trained to shoot to kill, not shoot to wound. Did the cops have a bean bag round or rubber bullets on them? So a crazed murdered is coming at you with a shovel, what do you do? You shoot the bastard to protect yourself and the publics lives.

People with such uninformed thinking (stupid) really make it harder for the logical among us.

RMH, I agree with you, aren't police cadets taught how to disarm a person? Why shoot to kill?

When a rabid animal has rabies,you shoot it or put it to sleep.Good job deputies,one less criminals !!!


You watch way too many movies. You need to put on the uniform and handle some calls and see how you would react.

RMH, how about you let me come at you with a shovel and see if you can hit me. All you get is a taser.
Shooting a knee is impossible. Real life isn't a hollywood movie. If a cop took a shot at his knee and missed you would be crying about the innocent bystander that was shot by the cop.
Don't think I am sticking up for the cops because I really don't like them much at all. I just hate seeing people spew baseless comments.

A shovel, club, ax, knife, hammer or rock are all deadly weapons.
If a guy with a shovel was in your house I know you would be in fear of you life.

rhm cops, deputies are people not robots. This isn't Time Cop it's real life. Shovel, gun, knife, bat all tools that could kill you. Deadly force is athorized when you believe your life or the life of someone else is in danger (Check). Police shoot at center mass not hands and feet. You should stick to Call of Duty and leave Peace Keeping to the pros.

JustCause, a BOOK can kill you if placed in the right hands. My point is police face danger everyday hence having a 9 on their hip. However some danger is less immediate than others. if this same suspect had a gun using deadly force is justifiable as the officers have a split second to make a decision that could save their own lives and the lives of possible bystanders. HOWEVER when a weapon is NOT a gun the time they have to decide is long enough to say grab a non lethal weapon or even aim their glock at a part of the body non likely to cause a mortal wound. or for heavens sake I wonder what a warning shot shout would have done? A shot just inches over the shoulder provides MORE than enough time to drop the aim slightly enough to hit the mark if the person would have ignored warning shots. I'm just saying I can all but GUARANTEE the police could have used non lethal force and method to neutralize this man.. If they couldn't then their not worthy to wear the badge. THIS is why many people characterize cops as nothing but "good" thugs with guns. They tend to shoot to kill first and ask questions later. THIS is why they're no longer respected as they have been in the past. They hid behind their guns and are almost NEVER found guilty of using unacceptable force. YES a shovel can be used as a deadly weapon but 1) A cop can reach for a taser just as easily as he can reach for his 9 and 2) a shovel can only be used as a weapon in close proximity. All of the cops weapons are not limited by proximity therefore he had more options.

Shoot to wound? Some of these posts are downright laughable.
To all you folks who think it's that easy to calmly aim for the kneecap
when a crazed, shovel-wielding suspect comes after you, try this exercise...

Imagine yourself in that police officer's shoes.
Now try to stop this man by "shooting to wound."
Are you shaking in fear? Is your gun hand really steady?
Imagine being that officer having to make a split-second
decision -- kill or be killed.

This man signaled his intention when he ignored the officer's commands to drop the shovel, and decided to charge at them.

Get real folks. This isn't a game.

Couldn't they just shoot him in the legs.. If i got shot in the leg i think i would stop chasing anyone with the shovel and worry more about the pain. This is getting out of control with these cops. I understand they're in the line of duty against some crazy people out there.. But this is going to far

Good. Saves the taxpayer hundreds of thousands of dollars.

"rmh" I think so.

Your thoughts were my first thoughts when I read this. These trigger happy cop criminals need to be put away. They could have done sooooo many other things, but they purposely chose not to, and THAT is what constitutes "trigger happy". They chose to pull the trigger when they had ample other options.

Then they wonder why other criminals just gun cops down. And I am not even a cop hater.

These cops had murder on their minds.

First off, police officers do not shoot to kill. They shoot to stop the threat. Sometimes the suspect dies, but many times they survive. Police officers are allowed to use deadly force in order to protect themselves from serious bodily injury or death. If you don't think that a shovel can cause these things then let me come at you with one.

Second, police officers are trained to shoot at center mass. Shooting at an arm, leg, knee, etc, is pure Hollywood fantasy. During a highly stressful situation, the first thing that people lose is their fine motor skills. This makes hitting a small target such as an arm extremely difficult. In fact, most gun fights happen within a distance of 10 feet and there are usually more misses then hits.

Having been a police officer for the past 12 years I've come to learn that with some people no matter what we do they will consider it wrong.

First a you need to understand police are responsible for every round they fire; therefore a "warning" shot is not a viable option. Do you have any idea how far that round can possibly go? A 9mm is capable of traveling over 1800 meters. That's over a mile of travel where you have no idea where it went. And if that round were to hit someone, what would you be saying about the option you gave to the police? Not a very good option when you think about it, huh? Second, police don't shoot to kill. They are taught to shoot center mass. In the Air Force we were taught to "shoot to stop the action that lead you to shoot in the first place". You were taught to shoot to stop someone who had been given a chance to stop, who had shown intent, who had the opportunity, and who had the capability to inflict serious bodily harm. When an event transpires, the police only have fractions of a sec to make life and death decisions. Rmh, do you shoot at all? Do you have any idea how difficult it is to shoot a 3" x 3" moving target while your heart is racing and you are under pressure: life and death pressure. If you don't hit that target you could possibly pay for it with your life. A shovel can be a deadly weapon, as can a many other items. It's in the class of history's very first weapons: a club. It doesn't take much to bludgeon someone to death. It's unfortunate this individual was killed, but don't blame the police for the result of HIS actions.

Rmh, a person can travel 21ft in less than 3seconds. Do you think that is enough time to perceive the threat and then make the conscious choice for a non lethal? What if that non lethal doesn't work which does happen, will it then be justifiable to use lethal force?

Whatever happened to innocent before proven guilty? Cops are waaaay too gun/kill happy these days. Perhaps the man was mentally ill or had been frightened by something prior to them arriving? What is wrong with shooting at places other than the where it will kill a person?
You cannot justify this killing - period and these cops should be arrested and jailed.

Another out of control cop shoots and kills for no reason. Probably a Repugnican.

If you stab your wife to death and attack officers with a shovel you don't deserve to be among the living. You are a menace to society and need to meet your maker. You bleeding heart types always want to blame someone else, the cops in this case, and are part of the problem. Not the enlightened, nuanced, progressive thinking problem solvers you like to think you are.

Touche. I have not problem admitting if I'm off base. HOWEVER. That doesn't dissuade me from the belief that there were other options available, namely the use of non lethal weapons. You can't tell me that all the police related shootings (let's just say in the past 2 years alone) SOME have nothing to do with trigger happy cops.

Again, more hollywood fantasy from rmh. How do you know the cop didn't shoot the guy in an area not to cause a mortal wound. You do know bullets don't just stop when they hit a human body right? They also don't go straight when they hit a body. They hit things like bone which can deflect them. Some people have died due to being shot in the leg. Heard of the femoral artery?
A shot in the stomach can result in the bullet coming out of the upper back. You never know what a bullet will do when it hits.

Waring shots are against policy in pretty much every dept. Even a civilian you would be a fool to fire a warning shot in defense of your life.

How many cops were on scene? Was it only one at the moment they guy charged? You and I don't know all the details.

Seems you think know how to handle violent people and have all the answers so why are you not wearing a badge?

Besides watching too much TV what situations have you been in that required split second thinking and action?

Rather him than me! There is no way of fixing stupid.

To rmh: You assume way too much.

By no means am I pro-cop, and for most of my life, some may have said I was anti-cop -- I wasn't, but that's a whole other issue for another thread.

Anyway, I do say that, these cops were dealing with a murder suspect. A shovel can easily disarm a cop, a shovel could easily hurt, disorient, incapacitate someone. A shot to the leg won't automatically stop someone.

Just recently, there was a cop in Riverside County who went chasing a suspect into a park, and the suspect surprise attacked him without any weapon, knocking the officer down. The suspect was able to get the officer's gun and he killed the officer.

I know, it's not the same exact situation, but a shovel is still a weapon, and a deadly one, too, and it doesn't seem like the suspect was exactly following orders.

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