Eighteen local law enforcement officers have been cleared of criminal liability in 10 different police shootings, seven of which
resulted in fatalities, the San Diego County District Attorney's Office announced Friday.
The shootings date from May of 2020 to March of this year, and include officers from the San Diego Police Department, Escondido Police Department, National City Police Department and San Diego County Sheriff's Department.
Among the shootings reviewed were:
The May 29, 2020 fatal shooting of Ronnie Kong, 32, in City Heights.
According to the DA's review, 911 was called that afternoon after Kong's neighbor, 62-year-old Juan Gudino Lopez, was found dead from multiple gunshot wounds.
When police tried to talk to Kong, they allege he came out of his apartment with a handgun in his waistband and raised it towards the officers.Three San Diego police officers — Andrew Campbell, Christopher Luth, and Tony Maraschiello — opened fire. Kong died at the scene.
The District Attorney's Office said Kong — who was already suspected of killing a man — refused to obey orders to not reach for his gun, then pointed it at the officers.
The June 19, 2020, non-fatal shooting of Rosendo Quezada in Escondido.
After responding to a call that Quezada was outside his estranged wife's home in violation of a restraining order, Escondido Police Officer Timothy Hamilton encountered Quezada's car near the intersection of Broadway and Washington Avenue.
Police said Quezada got out of his car clutching a crowbar and charged at him, prompting Hamilton to shoot him. Body camera footage released by the Escondido Police Department captured Quezada saying something to the effect of "Just kill me, I want to die'' while charging Hamilton.
Quezada later pleaded guilty to assault with a deadly weapon on a peace officer and attempted burglary and was sentenced to three years and eight months in state prison.
The DA's review found Quezada “purposely threatened the officer in order to make the officer shoot him.''
The June 27, 2020, fatal shooting of Leonardo Ibarra, 25, in downtown San Diego.
Police said Ibarra was a wanted suspect in a robbery when he was found walking outside on Sixth Avenue.
Two San Diego Police officers — Jonathan Lucas and Tevar Zaki — approached him in order to arrest him and after identifying themselves as police, Ibarra continued walking away, according to the DA's review.
He then pulled a gun from his waistband and pointed it at the officers, prompting them to shoot him, the DA's Office said. Ibarra was taken to a hospital, where he died two days later.
The DA's review states Ibarra pointed a loaded weapon at the officers, who were justified in opening fire.
The July 5, 2020, non-fatal shooting of Keith Bergman in the underground sally port of San Diego police headquarters.
Bergman was arrested earlier that day and transported to SDPD headquarters in a police cruiser, but while inside the vehicle, he slipped out of handcuffs, broke a partition between the back and front seats, and got his hands on a gun that was inside an officer's gear bag.
Multiple officers surrounded the vehicle and took cover.
Bergman fired a single shot through the rear window of the patrol vehicle and officers opened fire, striking him in the upper body. He was shot again after trying to open the cruiser's door.
Bergman later pleaded guilty to assault on a peace officer with a semi- automatic firearm and being a felon in possession of a firearm and was sentenced last year to 10 years in state prison.
The DA's review said San Diego police officers Timothy Arreola, Michael Rodriguez, and Paul Yi reasonably feared for their safety after Bergman fired the gun and refused to comply with commands.
The Oct. 14, 2020, non-fatal shooting of Richard Young in Rancho Penasquitos.
The DA's Office says police were called by Young's wife and a dispatcher could hear over the phone that he sought to commit "suicide by cop.''
When officers arrived, the DA's review states Young pulled a gun on the officers and pointed it at them, prompting San Diego Police Officer Timothy Breck to shoot Young once in the upper body.
The DA's review states the threat Young posed had to be "instantly confronted'' and "less lethal alternatives were not feasible or safe against the immediate, lethal threat posed by Young.''
The April 12, 2021, fatal shooting of Christopher Marquez, 36, at San Diego High School.
Police say Marquez was wanted for shooting and wounding a bounty hunter, then shooting at National City police officers weeks later.
When police found him, a chase ensued in a car driven by Marquez's girlfriend. During the high-speed pursuit, Marquez shot at pursuing officers, and National City Police Officer Robert Rude fired one shot in response.
Marquez and his girlfriend then hid in a dumpster on the San Diego High School grounds and at one point, police believed Marquez was going to shoot his girlfriend, the DA's Office said. Two San Diego police officers –Brandon Gibson and Brandon Jordan — shot and killed Marquez.
The DA's review states Officer Rude shot at Marquez in legal self- defense and the two SDPD officers reasonably determined Marquez would not surrender and would shoot his girlfriend.
The Sept. 17, 2021, fatal shooting of Jonathan Carroll, 38, in Escondido.
Police were called for reports of a man who had shot someone else. After determining Carroll was the shooter, police went to his home, where Carroll fled in a car, the DA's Office said.
After crashing his car, Carroll got out of the vehicle while holding a gun and turned towards Escondido Police Officer Chandler Hoppal, who fired a dozen rounds, striking Carroll three times.
The DA's review states that given the prior shooting and Carroll exiting his car with a gun, it was reasonable to believe he intended to shoot Hoppal.
The Dec. 26, 2021, fatal shooting of Roberto Cazares, 39, in Escondido.
Police said Cazares was a suspect in a murder in Vista when he was approached by officers. The DA's review states Cazares drove towards officers, then led them on a pursuit across North County.
After his car became disabled, the DA's review states he got out and began shooting at officers. Cazares was shot by two Escondido Police Officers identified only by their last names, Armenta and Velasquez.
The DA's review states that given he was a wanted murder suspect and opened fire on the officers, the use of lethal force was justified.
The March 30, 2022, fatal shooting of Andrew Farnham, 60, in San Carlos.
Police said Farnham called police and told them `his son' wanted to commit suicide. When police arrived, the DA's review states Farnham pointed a gun — later discovered to be a BB gun — at his head and told officers to shoot him. He then pointed the gun at officers and was shot by SDPD Sgt. Zachary Pfannenstiel.
The DA's review states the BB gun was a replica of a real firearm and it was reasonable to believe in the moment that Farnham posed a threat to the officer and others.
The Feb. 19, 2022, fatal shooting of Mizael Corrales, 31, in Otay Mesa.
Corrales was located at a strip mall behind the wheel of a stolen vehicle, according to the DA's review.
When approached by sheriff's deputies, Corrales backed up the vehicle and refused to get out, the DA's Office alleges. He then drove forward toward San Diego County Sheriff's Department Detective Anthony Garcia and others, prompting Garcia to fire, prosecutors said.
The DA's review states Garcia reasonably believed he and other deputies were in danger, while Corrales' family has stated they intend to file a wrongful death lawsuit in connection with the shooting.