SAN DIEGO (AP) — Police shot and critically wounded a gunman Saturday in a San Diego movie theater as more than a dozen moviegoers ducked for cover on the floor.
No moviegoers or officers were hurt in the shooting inside Reading Cinemas Carmel Mountain in northern San Diego, officer David Stafford said.
The suspect, whose name was not immediately released, was taken to a hospital with several gunshot wounds and was expected to survive, Capt. Terry McManus told U-T San Diego. He became the target of an intense police search after witnesses reported seeing him confront his 19-year-old girlfriend at a parking lot across the street from a shopping plaza where the Cineplex is located.
Witnesses tried to intervene, but he threatened them with a gun and ran to the shopping plaza.
The owner of a business next to the Cineplex said police shut down the shopping center’s parking lot and stopped every car to look for the man. Officers with dogs checked each store, while a police helicopter hovered above.
“There were 20 police cars blocking the entrance, then the fire truck and the ambulance rushed in,” Steve Krongard, the owner of the Nickel City arcade, said. “Then we saw seven cops with what looked like rifles, then paramedics went into the theater.”
McManus said police turned their attention to the Cineplex when two women told officers the suspect they were looking for matched the description of someone they saw inside the Cineplex. Police searched theater by theater and evacuated moviegoers until two officers spotted him in a theater with about 15 others.
McManus told the paper that the man initially complied with officers’ order to put his hands up, but then he put them back in his lap and brandished a handgun. He said one of the officers opened fire.
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