San Diego police shot and killed a man they say was suicidal and armed with a handgun in City Heights

Three San Diego police officers shot a man they said was suicidal and held a gun to his head in City Hills on Thursday, officials said.

The shooting took place around 1 p.m. on 42nd Street near University Street, after police responded to reports of a man on a bicycle armed with a gun on Central Avenue near Orange Avenue, said Sheriff’s Lt. Kevin Ralph.

When the security officers went to the man, he ran away. Security officers caught the man in a street, where he put the gun to his head and told them to shoot him, said the lieutenant.

On 42nd Street, the man “discharged” the gun, Ralph said. Officers ordered him to drop. “After disobeying the order, officers deployed non-lethal bean bags, confronting the issue,” Ralph said.

The man fell, as he got up, with the gun in hand, three officers shot him, said the lieutenant.

The man, aged 25 to 35, died before being taken to the hospital. As of Thursday evening, he has not been found.

Ralph said it is not yet known if the man showed the gun to the officers or if the gun was real.

Witness Michael Breitenstein, who owns Inscriptu, a printing company at the corner of University Avenue and 42nd Street, said he noticed the police presence and went over to the scene. He said he saw some junior officers standing around the man, who was holding a gun on the street of a house.

Breitenstein said the man moved the gun from one hand to the other at least twice.

The officers drew their guns and police officers nearby, and repeatedly told the man to drop the weapon, according to Breitenstein.

The officers fired the beanbag gun at least twice, and the man fell to the ground, the witness said. He said he heard five or six gunshots. He said he was not sure if the man pointed the gun at the officers after he fell to the ground.

The Sheriff’s Office investigated the shooting in accordance with a county policy that states that law enforcement does not investigate the shooting of their own officers or deputies.

Ralph said the shooting was captured on officers’ body-worn cameras. State law requires police to release videos of police shootings within 45 days. The San Diego Police Department aims to comply within 10 days, according to its website.

5:30 p.m. Dec. 8, 2022: This article has been updated with additional information.

5:30 p.m. Dec. 8, 2022: This article has been updated with additional information.