Southeastern Division 10/18/2022

Authorities Friday publicly identified a man who was fatally shot by San Diego police this week during a shootout in front of a Southcrest-area street taco shop.

Derrick Weatherspoon, 33, opened fire on two officers about 5:45 p.m. Tuesday while fleeing in the roadway in the 1100 block of South 43rd Street, according to the San Diego Police Department.

Both lawmen returned fire, killing Weatherspoon. No one else was injured in the volley of gunshots.

The events that led to the shootout began about 15 minutes earlier, when a 911 caller reported seeing a man “waving a gun around” in a church parking lot in the 4000 block of National Avenue, police alleged.

A short time later, an employee of a nearby Chinese-food restaurant on South 43rd Street reported seeing a similar-looking man “acting strangely” and dropping a pistol to the floor inside the business, then picking it back up.

Minutes later, a third caller reported seeing the armed man at Humberto’s Taco Shop in the same immediate area, “acting very creepy” and sitting in a dining area with a gun on the table in front of him, covered by a bandana, according to an SDPD statement.

When the pair of officers arrived a short time later in the neighborhood just west of Interstate 805 and south of National Avenue, the suspect was walking out of the taco shop. A moment later, before the lawmen could get out of their cruiser, Weatherspoon opened fire on them with a .22-caliber pistol, according to police.

Video footage shot by one of the officers’ uniform-worn cameras shows the shirtless suspect running down the middle of the street while turning back toward them, clutching what appears to be a gun that repeatedly emits puffs of gray smoke.

As the officers returned fire, the driver’s side window of the police car shattered. A moment later, Weatherspoon collapsed face-first in a traffic lane.

“Mr. Weatherspoon went to the ground and continued to hold the handgun in his right hand, which prevented officers from (immediately) approaching him and rendering first aid,” according to the police statement.

The suspect died at the scene.

Police have identified the officers involved in the shootout only by their last names, Morrison and Najera-Arredondo. The camera that recorded the video footage released by the SDPD was worn by Najera-Arredondo.

City News Service contributed to this article.



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Ellen Bullock