San Diego, CA – Two San Diego police officers were shot at an apartment complex as they responded to a disturbance call on Saturday night.
The incident began at 10:15 p.m., when police arrived at the Tuscany Place apartments and smelled smoke coming from a first-floor unit, The San Diego Union-Tribune reported.
The officers requested assistance from the San Diego Fire-Rescue Department, and firefighters accompanied them as they went to the apartment to make contact with someone inside, according to KNSD.
A neighbor told The San Diego Union-Tribune that he heard them knocking on the gunman’s door repeatedly, and that they ultimately used an ax to get inside.
“As soon as they open the door, they were met with gunfire,” San Diego Police Chief David Nisleit said during a press conference.
“I heard them bashing on the door, then I heard gunfire,” the neighbor said. “There was plaster from my wall on my couch and carpet.”
The gunman, who police later learned was wearing body armor, fired through the walls, wounding two of the officers, FOX News reported.
“It was fast,” neighbor Matthew Rezrouch told The San Diego Union-Tribune. “They were screaming ‘two officers down, bleeding!’”
One officer was able to return fire, Chief Nisleit confirmed, according to The San Diego Union-Tribune.
The wounded officers and at least one firefighter were removed from the complex using a ladder.
They were rushed to a local hospital, where one was listed in serious but stable condition, and the other was listed in stable condition, Chief Nisleit said.
According to FOX News, one of the officers was shot in the chest. The other sustained a gunshot wound to the shoulder.
One of the officers is a three-year veteran of the force and the other has been with the department for 18 years, the chief said.
Officers rushed to the apartment complex and began evacuating tenants in the 100-unit building as the barricaded gunman remained holed up in his residence, The San Diego Union-Tribune reported.
A SWAT team also rescued a firefighter from a unit near the shooter, after he was forced to take cover during the gunfight, according to KNSD.
Police took a suspect into custody at 11:20 p.m., but quickly ascertained that he was not the gunman, the San Diego Union-Tribune reported.
At approximately 12:15 a.m., a tactical robot was able to push past the suspect’s door, and a camera mounted on the device showed the shooter lying on the floor with head trauma, police said.
A K9 officer was later sent into the apartment, but the gunman did not respond when the K9 bit him in the leg.
Just before 1 a.m., police determined that the shooter was dead.
It was unclear whether he was killed during the gunfight, or if the fatal wound was self-inflicted.
Police did not release the shooter’s identity and have not confirmed that he was the 30-year-old male who resided at the apartment, the San Diego Union-Tribune reported.
Other tenants said that they and been warned about a “weird guy” who lived in the complex and said they heard the man screaming and yelling at times.
One resident told the San Diego Union Tribune that the man had been placed in a psychiatric hospital approximately 18 months ago, after he bored a hole through his wall.