San Diego/ Crime & Emergencies
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Published on May 29, 2024
San Diego Police Release Footage of Fatal Shooting After Robbery and Hostage CrisisSource: San Diego Police Department

A tense standoff on a San Diego roadway earlier this month reached its fatal conclusion as police fatally shot a man accused of robbery and taking a hostage. The San Diego Police Department has now released video footage of the May 20 officer-involved shooting that took place at 5100 Friars Road in their commitment to public transparency.

The incident unspooled when a man in his twenties allegedly stole from a market at 1000 Moreno Blvd and threatened a store clerk with a knife. A description of the suspect was broadcasted, with responding officers locating a man matching that profile on Napa Street. Their efforts to detain him—with one officer even trying and failing to use a Taser—precipitated a chase to a transient encampment, Hoodline reported.

There, the man, whose identity has not been released, escalated the situation from theft to potential homicide, taking an "uninvolved male hostage by placing a knife to the victim's neck," as described in the Hoodline article. San Diego Police officers then discharged their weapons, striking the suspect, who was later pronounced dead at the scene despite life-saving efforts.

Authorities are conducting a multi-departmental investigation into the shooting, which will eventually be reviewed by the District Attorney's Office. The officers involved, Matthew Steinbach, Michael Howells, and Justin Tellam, had been with the department for varying tenures, twelve years, one-and-a-half years, and six-and-a-half years, respectively. No injuries were reported among the officers or the bystanders during the incident, as noted in the video statement provided by the San Diego Police Department.

With the video now public, authorities urge witnesses or those with additional information to come forward and contact their Homicide Unit. As interviews with witnesses continue and evidence is gathered, further details are expected to shed light on the motivations and circumstances surrounding this fatal encounter.