San Diego Police Say Officer Fatally Shot, Another Wounded

San Diego police officers investigate the scene where an officer was fatally shot and another was injured at a traffic stop late on Thursday, in San Diego
San Diego police officers investigate the scene where an officer was fatally shot and another was injured at a traffic stop late on Thursday, in San Diego, California / Reuters

By Mike Blake

SAN DIEGO (Reuters) – A San Diego police officer was fatally shot and another was injured at a traffic stop late Thursday, police said on Friday, and a wounded suspect was taken into custody.

The officers, members of the department's gang suppression unit, were shot soon after making a traffic stop at about 11 p.m. PDT (0600 GMT) in Southcrest, a neighborhood in southeast San Diego, Police Chief Shelley Zimmerman said at a news conference.

"I'm extremely heartbroken to report that we had an officer shot and killed," Zimmerman said.

The second officer underwent surgery and is expected to survive, police said. Both were shot in the upper torso, Zimmerman said.

She said one suspect, who was also shot, was taken into custody and was being treated at a hospital after being found in a nearby ravine. Officers had searched the area for additional suspects.

White House spokesman Eric Schultz said he did not know if President Barack Obama had been briefed yet on the shooting of the two police officers but said Obama has long urged respect for law enforcement who risk their lives to protect the public.

"The president believes there is no excuse for committing violence against the men and women who wear the uniform," Schultz told reporters at a daily press briefing on Friday.

Further details on the shooting were not immediately provided. Zimmerman said another news conference would be held later on Friday.

Police departments across the United States have been on high alert in the wake of fatal ambushes in Dallas, Texas, and Baton Rouge, Louisiana, earlier this month, that left a total of eight police officers dead.

Police have faced criticism from protesters across the country over the past two years in the wake of numerous high-profile police killings of unarmed black men.

Demonstrations were fueled most recently by videotaped killings of two black men in Baton Rouge and near St. Paul, Minnesota earlier this month.

Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, who has vowed to be tough on crime, said in a Twitter post in response to the San Diego shooting: "It is only getting worse. People want law and order!"

(Reporting by Brendan O'Brien in Milwaukee, Curtis Skinner in Seattle, Ian Simpson in Washington, Susan Heavey in Washington and Sharon Bernstein in Sacramento, Calif.; Editing by Bill Trott and Bernadette Baum)