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Published on May 24, 2024
San Diego Police Under Fire After Two Shootings, Suspect Accused of Kidnapping Wounded Near Trolley StationSource: Google Street View

The San Diego Police Department is reeling from heavy public scrutiny following two officer-involved shootings that transpired within hours of each other. The incidents have intensified the debate over the department's use of lethal force.

In the first incident, reported by the San Diego Sheriff's Department, a domestic dispute escalated violently late Sunday night. Steffon Nutall, 29, is accused of kidnapping and making threats with a firearm before being shot by an officer while holding his 11-month-old daughter. The child was found unharmed after the ordeal, and Nutall was transported to a local hospital, where he underwent surgery and remains in stable condition. Nutall was arrested on multiple charges, including kidnapping, assault with a deadly weapon, and willful cruelty to a child.

This harrowing sequence of events near the 47th Street Trolley Station has raised significant concerns from the community, particularly surrounding the justification for using potentially lethal force in a situation involving an innocent bystander. According to a report by NBC San Diego via Hoodline, “The man was found in a bush with the child. After being ordered to come out, at least one officer fired a round at the man, striking him at least once,” said Lt. Mike Krugh.

The officer implicated, Robert Gladysz, has been placed on administrative leave while the investigation is underway. As part of the department's transparency efforts, body-worn camera footage of the event is expected to be released on the SDPD's Critical Incident Videos webpage within the prescribed 7-10 business days timeframe. An investigative team, comprising the FBI and U.S. Attorney's Office, is also reviewing the incident to determine any possible criminal charges against the officer involved.

The community waits with bated breath for the release of the footage and findings of the ongoing investigations. The second shooting incident, details of which have yet to unfold completely, further amplifies the scrutiny of the department’s protocols and officers’ judgment calls in life-threatening situations.