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Off-duty officer shoots robbery suspect
By Susan Shroder

December 23, 2010 at 3:16 a.m.

An off-duty San Diego police officer shot and injured a robbery suspect Wednesday night outside the officer's residence in the Nestor area of south San Diego, police said.

The suspect was shot once in the buttocks, and his wound was not considered life-threatening, said police Capt. Jim Collins.

The officer heard noises outside his condominium on Avenida Del Mexico, just off Saturn Boulevard, about 9:35 p.m., said police homicide Lt. Kevin Rooney. When he looked outside, he saw two men carrying his motorcycle to the back of a minivan. The officer armed himself and ran outside.

The offficer, who was not in uniform, confronted one of the men and identified himself as a police officer. He ordered the man, identified by police as Eduardo Gonzalez, 28, to get on the ground. Gonzalez dropped to one knee, alternately looking at the officer and the minivan. The brake lights of the minivan were illuminated.

Gonzalez then stood up and walked toward the officer, grabbing at him. The officer pushed Gonzalez away, and Gonzalez walked off. The officer followed him, contining to identify himself as a police officer and ordering Gonzalez to get on the ground.

Gonzalez stopped, then walked back toward the officer, cursing and grabbing at him. The officer again pushed Gonzalez away "to maintain a safe distance between them," Rooney said. Gonzalez then hit the officer and turned and placed both hands inside the middle of his jacket.

The officer believed Gonzalez was arming himself and fired the shot. Gonzalez walked away. The officer called 911 and followed the wounded Gonzalez until arriving officers took him into custody at the gated condo complex.

Witnesses said that the driver of the minivan, described as possibly a green Dodge, took off at a high speed, ran a stop sign and headed onto north Interstate 5 from Palm Avenue, Collins said. They said the minivan's tailgate was open and the motorcycle could be seen inside.

Rooney said two men were seen inside the minivan.

The motorcycle is a black 2008 Yamaha R1 with California license plate RAVEN1K, Rooney said.

Gonzalez will be booked into county jail on a charge of auto theft after his treatment at the hospital, Rooney said.

The officer, whose name was not released, has been with the police department for 3 1/2 years and is currently assigned to the Southeastern Division, Rooney said.

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