Society

Encinitas Shooting Suspect Found Dead After Apparent Suicide

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A 22-year-old man who was accused of shooting two Sherriff’s deputies and hiding out in his mother's Encinitas home was found dead of a self-inflicted gunshot wound early Thursday morning, according to authorities.

At around 1:30 a.m., robots were sent into the home in order to evaluate the suspect. About 10 minutes after that, SWAT officers entered the home and found the man dead of an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound.

The incident originally began in the 700 block of Del Rio Avenue near Leucadia Boulevard began around 1 p.m. Wednesday. A woman made a 911 call stating that her adult son was mad, that she recently took out a restraining order against him and that he had just taken off in her car, according to the San Diego County Sheriff's Department.

The man returned to the mother’s home shortly after 3:30 p.m. Several patrol deputies entered the home with the mother's consent and established verbal contact with the man, sheriff's Capt. Duncan Fraser told reporters at the scene.

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When deputies tried to approach the suspect, they were reportedly fired on.

"After several minutes of negotiation with him, which was unsuccessful, and because of some statements he was making they deployed less lethal tear gas," Fraser said. "Unfortunately, the male returned fire, striking two deputies."

One deputy was initially taken to Scripps Memorial Hospital Encinitas with a leg wound, and was later transferred to Scripps Memorial Hospital La Jolla where he underwent surgery, San Diego County Sheriff Bill Gore told reporters.

The other deputy was hospitalized with a glancing head wound and had been treated. It was unknown if he would be released tonight or kept overnight, according to Gore.

After initial shots were fired, the suspect stayed inside his mother’s home. Crisis negotiators and SWAT teams from around the county made their way to the scene and for several hours, negotiators remained in contact with the suspect, authorities said.

During the standoff, the Red Cross turned the Encinitas Community Center into a shelter for about 25 area-residents who had been displaced from their homes due to the police activity.

Residents couldn't reach their homes Wednesday night due to Sheriff's roadblocks set up a mile from the scene. Cars backed up along Saxony road as deputies forced them to turn around.

More than a dozen residents, who spent the night at a community center, were eventually allowed back into their homes by 3 a.m. on Thursday.

(10 News)