Los Angeles: An off-duty officer was involved in a shooting with a hit and run suspects in San Diego County.
On March 22, 2009, at approximately 8:30 p.m., Officer Ramon Zepeda was in his personal vehicle westbound on Interstate 8 at the Los Coches exit. In the officer’s vehicle were his wife and his 3-year-old son who was in the rear seat. Officer Zepeda exited the Los Coches off ramp with his family with the intention to visit a McDonald’s restaurant when his vehicle was struck from behind by either an older model Ford Taurus or Tempo. Officer Zepeda pulled his vehicle over to the shoulder to exchange information, but the other vehicle failed to stop and drove away. Officer Zepeda drove his vehicle back onto the roadway and followed the hit and run suspect in an attempt to obtain the license plate number. As Officer Zepeda followed the hit and run suspect, his wife called 9-1-1 with the intention of seeking police assistance.
Officer Zepeda followed the suspect’s vehicle into a residential area near East Lakeview Road and Kay Jay Lane and believed the suspect was going to park his vehicle. Officer Zepeda exited his vehicle with the intention of identifying the suspect. As Zepeda started to approach the hit and run vehicle he realized it had not stopped and now was driving directly at him. At this time, an officer-involved shooting occurred.
The suspect’s vehicle did not stop and was last seen eastbound from the location. San Diego County Sheriff’s Department personnel responded to the call, along with California Highway Patrol personnel. The San Diego County Sheriff’s Department will be handling the criminal investigation and California Highway Patrol personnel will be handling the hit and run traffic collision.
The hit and run driver was described as a White male in his 20s.
Force Investigation Division personnel responded and are conducting an administrative investigation of the officer-involved shooting.