Eastern Division 1/17/23

The San Diego Police Department Monday released video footage of the fatal shooting by two officers of a murder suspect who grabbed a gun during a confrontation last week outside his home near El Cajon.

Frank Brower, 77, died Jan. 17 in the 800 block of La Cresta Boulevard in the unincorporated community of Crest.

The events that led to the deadly gunfire began about an hour earlier, when police received a report of a violent dispute at a pharmacy in the 5500 block of Reservoir Drive, just east of San Diego State University, SDPD Lt. Steve Shebloski said.

Officers arrived to find the business locked, Shebloski said. Seeing a person inside who appeared to be injured, they forced entry and found 66-year-old Mary Ellen Carter of Lakeside suffering from stab wounds to her upper body. Paramedics took her to a hospital, where she was pronounced dead.

Investigators soon identified Brower, a workplace colleague of Carter’s, as the suspected killer and determined that he had left the area in a dark-colored SUV. Police then went to his home to see if he had gone there following the fatal stabbing.

“The officers coordinated with the (county) Sheriff’s Department to check that address, utilizing patrol deputies and … sheriff helicopters,” Shebloski said.

Shortly after arriving, they found Brower near his vehicle, which was parked in front of a horse trailer at the rear of his house.

Video images recorded by a camera aboard a patrol helicopter showed Brower walking around between his vehicle and the livestock hauler, seemingly loading things into the SUV.

“When contacted, the suspect failed to comply with instructions, prompting officers to (shoot him with) beanbag rounds, which had no effect,” sheriff’s Lt. Chris Steffen said.

Brower then leaned into the SUV through a back driver’s-side door and emerged with a long-barreled gun in his hands. At that point, SDPD Officers Salvador Laurel-Torres and Robert Raynor opened fire with a rifle and pistol, respectively, killing Brower.

The firearm the suspect had retrieved from the vehicle was a loaded shotgun, according to police.

Investigators have determined that Brower and Carter were either co-owners or fellow employees of the drugstore where the stabbing occurred, Shebloski said. What motivated the fatal assault remained unclear Monday.

City News Service contributed to this article.



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Ellen Bullock