SWAT officers surrounded a Spring Valley home where police thought a suspect in the shooting of an off-duty sheriff’s deputy was holed up Wednesday. The suspect was not in the house when officers went inside.
The suspect was identified Wednesday night as 37-year-old Ray Pitoau. Police said he is Samoan, 5 feet 11 inches tall, 225 pounds, with black hair braided into two ponytails, brown eyes and a tattoo of the letters “SD” on his upper right chest.
San Diego police officers went the home on Tarleton Street near Walbollen Street in Spring Valley’s La Prensa neighborhood about 3 p.m. A SWAT team was summoned about an hour later, police Officer Mark Herring said.
SWAT officers surrounded the house for roughly four hours, calling out for people to come outside. At least once, they shot out a front window, then threw inside what appeared to be a flash bang grenade, neighbors said.
Residents were asked to stay indoors during the ordeal.
Around 8 p.m., the SWAT team slowly went inside through the front door and back of the house, neighbors said. Police said no one was found inside the home.
Deputy Jason Philpot was shot three times in the shoulder as he tried to wrestle a gun away from a man in the Gaslamp Quarter early Monday. A bystander was shot in the arm.
The off-duty deputy was with a small group when the gunman confronted them, police said.
Philpot, an 11-year veteran, is expected to recover.
Officers who scoured the area for evidence found a handgun….
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