East County mental health SWAT
The boat where authorities found the man dead after an hours-long search lies in shadow. Photo credit: OnScene.TV

A man died early Thursday, apparently from a self-inflicted gunshot wound, hours after his family called 911 and reported that he was suffering a mental health crisis.

San Diego Sheriff’s deputies responded to the initial report, at about 6:45 p.m. Wednesday, at a Lakeside home in the 9300 block of Los Coches Road, according to OnScene.TV. They saw the male flee with a gun in his hand – his family had warned 911 dispatchers that he was armed.

A search began, and a Sheriff’s helicopter crew was called in to help. They spotted the male, but he pointed the handgun at the helicopter and continued to flee under carports, through backyards and into wooded areas.

The authorities spotted him several times, but he kept moving. About 10 hours after the search began, at about 4:10 a.m. Thursday, deputies cornered him in a large carport in the 12000 block of Amy Way, less than a half mile from where the chase began.

He was still armed, hiding in a boat and not communicating, so deputies fired pepper balls near him. After receiving no response, SWAT deputies moved in and found that the male apparently had shot himself.

Firefighters were sent in to do a medical evaluation, but the male was pronounced dead.

In addition to the helicopter, authorities used drones and robots during the search.


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Ellen Bullock