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San Diego County Medical Examiner's Office at the County Operations Center.
San Diego County Medical Examiner’s Office at the County Operations Center. Photo by Ken Stone

Authorities on Thursday released the identity of a woman who was fatally stabbed at a College Area pharmacy, allegedly by a colleague who was later shot dead by police.

Officers responding to a report of a violent dispute at the drugstore in the 5500 block of Reservoir Drive about 4 p.m. Tuesday arrived to find the business locked, according to the San Diego Police Department.

The patrol personnel forced entry and found Mary Ellen Carter, 66, of Lakeside suffering from stab wounds to her upper body, Lt. Steve Shebloski said. Paramedics took her to a hospital, where she was pronounced dead.

Police soon identified the suspected killer and determined that he had left the area in a large dark-colored SUV. Officers then went to his home in the 800 block of La Cresta Boulevard in the unincorporated community of Crest.

Police, in coordination with the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department, then approached the suspect behind his house, finding him armed with what appeared to be a shotgun, sheriff’s Lt. Chris Steffen said.

Officers initially tried to subdue him by shooting him with a beanbag gun, which had no effect, according to police.

A short time later, two SDPD officers opened fire with their service firearms, killing him at the scene. The suspect’s name has been withheld pending family notification.

The motivation for the stabbing remained unclear.

“It is still early in the investigation and little is known about the circumstances leading up to (Carter’s) death, other than it appears the suspect and victim were either co-owners or employees of the business where (the homicide) occurred and, for unknown reasons, the suspect attacked (her),” Shebloski said.

City News Service

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Ellen Bullock