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Shotgun attack on San Diego officer was 'unprovoked,' police say

August 7, 2011 |  7:22 am

The shotgun attack in which a San Diego police officer was critically wounded was "unprovoked" and followed a shooting nearby by the same suspect, who was later killed by other officers, police said.

The unidentified officer was on patrol in the City Heights neighborhood Saturday afternoon when the suspect pulled up beside the officer's car, pointed a shotgun out the passenger window and fired, striking the officer in the head, according to Capt. Jim Collins of the department's homicide squad.

There is no indication that the officer was attempting to question the gunman or was aware that he was a suspect in a shooting minutes earlier at a fast-food restaurant in El Cajon.

The officer was given first aid by civilians and rushed to a local emergency room by paramedics as police officials hurried to the hospital. The officer is "in extremely critical condition," Collins said.

Dozens of police combed the area for the suspect, confronting him at an apartment building.

"The suspect grabbed the shotgun and several officers fired their weapons at him," Collins said. The suspect was pronounced dead at the scene.

Police initially believed there was another suspect involved in the attack on the officer, Collins said. An apartment building was surrounded, several blocks were evacuated, and at about 10 p.m. police forced their way into one of the units but no one was found.

The victim in the El Cajon restaurant shooting is expected to recover, Collins said.

The name of the officer and the dead suspect have not been released. San Diego Police Chief Bill Lansdowne is set to hold a news conference Sunday afternoon.


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-- Tony Perry in San Diego