San Diego, CA - San Diego County Sheriff's Deputy Jason Philpot is being called a hero after running toward an armed man, and fighting with him over his gun. He was off-duty at the time.
The incident occurred on Monday, August 7, about 1:17 AM in the Gaslamp Quarter, the 500 block of Island Avenue, according to Fox5 San Diego. Deputy Philpot was walking with a group of people, including his brother Josh Philpot and two off-duty Escondido police Officers, when they were confronted by a man with a gun. The off-duty police officers were not identified.
Josh Philpot said that they had just left the Metallica concert in Petco Park, and that he was lagging behind when he saw a group of men, according to NBC San Diego. One of the men asked him "What's up then blood?" He said that he looked at the man, 'kind of "you talking to me'", shook his head, and kept walking.
He said that the man then flashed a gun at him from beneath his shirt, and that he yelled "This guy's got a gun." And that's when his brother Jason Philpot ran toward the man and began fighting with him over the gun. Josh Philpot said, "My brother literally jumped in, like some kind of super hero and started fighting with this guy over the gun and that's when the struggle happened."
San Diego Police Officer John Buttle said that the deputy began "wrestling the suspect for the gun." During the struggle,the deputy was shot three times in his shoulder. He was conscious and alert when EMS arrived, and was transported to the University of California-San Diego in Hillcrest with non-life threatening injuries.
San Diego Police Lieutenant Ernesto Servin said that it was not known if the deputy or the police officers were armed. Law enforcement officers usually have discretion on whether to carry a firearm when off-duty. He said that the suspect's firearm was probably a revolver, and didn't leave any shell casings behind.
A bystander who was walking in the street was also struck apparently by a stray bullet. He drove himself to a hospital in Coronado, and was later transferred to the UCSD Hospital. His injuries are considered to be non-life threatening.
Lieutenant Servin said that "The investigation is ongoing right now. We do have video from at least two businesses that captured the incident and the suspects."
After review of surveillance video from two businesses, there appear to be two suspects, according to KUSI. The suspected gunman was described as a black male in his 30s, about 5' 10", 160 to 170 pounds, shoulder-length dreadlocks, wearing black shorts and a long-sleeve shirt. He was last seen fleeing south on Fifth Avenue, and east on K Street. A description of the second suspect was not available.
The San Diego Police Department is being assisted by the San Diego County Sheriff's Department in the investigation.