Photo by Chris Stone
San Diego Harbor Police cruiser. Photo by Chris Stone

 A man who engaged in a shootout with a Harbor Police officer outside the San Diego Convention Center was sentenced Monday to 45 years to life in state prison.

Daniel Quiroz, 31, was convicted earlier this year of attempted murder and assault with a semi-automatic firearm count for March 1, 2021, shooting that unfolded near Fifth Avenue and Harbor Drive.

Prosecutors said Quiroz fired on San Diego Harbor Police Officer Cody Horn, missing him but striking a bystander. The bullet that struck the bystander was deflected by an eyeglasses case he was carrying in his back pocket, allowing him to escape serious injury.

Police said Horn saw Quiroz commit a traffic violation near First Avenue and Harbor Drive at about 7 p.m. and followed the suspect’s vehicle, pulling it over near the intersection where the shootout occurred.

Suspecting that Quiroz might be intoxicated, Horn asked him to step out of his car for a sobriety test, according to Lt. Andra Brown of the San Diego Police Department.

Quiroz did so, but then pulled a gun, prompting Horn to open fire, Brown said. During the subsequent shootout, the officer retreated and took cover behind his cruiser. A short time later, Quiroz came out with his hands up and was taken into custody.

Quiroz’s defense attorney, Patrick McCoy, asked San Diego Superior Court Judge Kenneth So to impose a 15-year-to-life sentence. McCoy asked the judge to consider the role mental health issues may have played in the offense and that no one was seriously injured in the shooting.

Deputy District Attorney Fred Washington asked So to impose the maximum sentence of 45 years to life, arguing that Quiroz “put the lives of not just the officer, but multiple civilians, in danger.”

So could have dismissed certain gun enhancements against Quiroz, but told Quiroz he would impose them because “the evidence demonstrates that you are a danger to the public.”

— City News Service


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Ellen Bullock