Johnathan de Guzman was a 16-year veteran of the San Diego Police Department
By Ed Diokno
A San Diego police officer was killed in a shootout after a late-night stop turned into a gunfight, triggering a manhunt that led to the capture of one wounded suspect in a ravine and an hours-long SWAT standoff Friday that ended after officers detained a second man who may have been involved. His partner, Wade Irwin was also shot but is expected to live.
The slain officer, Jonathan de Guzman
, 44, was born in the Philippines and had been a San Diego police officer for 16 years.
The shooting took place around 11 p.m. Thursday (July 28) in a blue-collar neighborhood the San Diego Union Tribune reported.
It was too early to say whether the officers had been ambushed, said San Diego Police Chief Shelley Zimmerman. After the killings of police officers in Dallas and Baton Rouge, Louisiana, law enforcement officers across the nation are extra cautious.
After a radio call for backup, other officers arriving on the scene to find their fellow officers shot multiple times despite wearing bullet-proof vests.
“It happened extremely quickly,” Zimmerman said in a press conference Friday (July 29). “From the information that was put out that a stop was being made to that the officers called for emergency cover to when the other officers arrived on scene, we’re talking very, very quickly. Seconds to a minute or so.”
The neighborhood was cordoned off and a manhunt was launched. They found one man wounded in a nearby ravine. Another house surrounded by officers failed to turn up any other suspects. A second man was arrested but hasn’t been linked to the shooting at press time.
Contents of the body cameras worn by the officers were not revealed.
“I can tell you he (de Guzman) is a loving, caring husband, father. Talked about his family all the time,” Zimmerman said. “I know him, and this is gut-wrenching. He cared. He came to work every single day wanting to just make a positive difference in the lives of our community and that’s why he lost his life.”
De Guzman received the purple heart in 2003 after he was stabbed by a man he had stopped for speeding. The man was convicted of attempted murder on a peace officer in 2004.
San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer denounced the shootings. He said Saturday that he visited de Guzman’s wife and two children.
“We told them directly how proud all of us are — our city, our state, our nation — for JD. I told his wife and his son and daughter that he’s a hero for what he did, and that they have all of us standing behind their family. All of us.”
“We lost a terrific man,” the mayor said of de Guzman. “He served our city well, served this community for a number of years.”