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Police Fatally Shoot Suspect Near San Diego State University

Police Fatally Shoot Suspect Near San Diego State University

A San Diego Police Department vehicle in San Diego on Jan. 19, 2023. (Mark Mathews/The Epoch Times)

City News Service

City News Service

8/16/2023

Updated: 8/17/2023

Investigators worked on Aug. 16 to piece together the timeline of a police shooting that left a fugitive dead this week at a college-area apartment complex.
The man killed by an officer’s gunfire less than a mile from San Diego State University was a suspect in a crime that led to a fatal police shooting in Clairemont Mesa two weeks ago, according to the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department, which investigates uses of deadly police force in the city of San Diego under the terms of a countywide agreement.
The events that led to Aug. 15 night’s fatal confrontation began at about 6:45 p.m., when police went to the Plaza Apartments in the 6100 block of El Cajon Boulevard to serve a search warrant on the wanted man.
Officers surrounded the building and contacted the fugitive via telephone calls and verbal call-outs, sheriff’s Lt. Joseph Jarjura said.
The suspect eventually came out carrying a gun, police said. He complied with officers’ commands to drop the weapon, but allegedly refused their repeated orders to back away from it.
Following a brief stalemate, the man allegedly bent down and tried to grab the gun, prompting an officer to open fire on him. The suspect, whose name has been withheld pending family notification, died at the scene.
The man was believed to have been behind the wheel of a vehicle involved in a non-injury car-to-car shooting that led to fatal law enforcement gunfire on the outskirts of San Diego Mesa College on Aug. 2.
At about 2:30 that morning, police department personnel investigating the episode of apparent road-rage gunfire just east of the junction of Interstate 805 and State Route 163 came across the suspected shooter, later identified as 33-year-old Benjamin Pickens, in the 7200 block of Mesa College Circle.
Mr. Pickens, who had a pistol tucked in his left armpit, ignored officers’ orders to disarm himself and surrender, and soon began walking off, heading toward a nearby empty lot, Mr. Jarjura said.
At that point, a canine-handler officer released his service dog, a Belgian Malinois named Sir, who ran toward the suspect.
Mr. Pickens allegedly responded by turning, drawing his gun, and pointing it in the direction of the police. At that point, officer Addam Ansari shot Mr. Pickens in the chest with a rifle.
The mortally wounded suspect then fatally shot the service dog.
Mr. Pickens was pronounced dead at a hospital.
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