Fugitive in custody after standoff in Imperial Beach

Mystery shots fired

Fugitive Ramiro Espinoza, sought on a one-million-dollar warrant for attempted murder, was arrested by sheriff’s SWAT officers early on Friday, July 26, after a seven-hour standoff in Imperial Beach.

Twenty-two homes on Elkwood Avenue were evacuated after a deputy fired a shot at Espinoza as he jumped over a backyard fence and evaded capture.

The sheriff’s fugitive task force had gone to Imperial Beach at about 5 p.m. Thursday to arrest Espinoza, who was wanted on numerous charges, including attempted murder, according to sheriff’s spokesperson Jan Caldwell.

When deputies arrived, according to Caldwell, Espinoza fled out a back door and then jumped over fences. As they pursued him, one deputy fired his gun. The sheriff’s helicopter flying over the scene warned residents to stay inside and issued a direct message to the fleeing felon: "Ramiro Espinoza, why are you running? We're going to catch you anyway.”

Sheriff’s SWAT team members, SDPD, and CHP officers searched the neighborhood and discovered Espinoza barricaded in a vacant home on Elkwood Avenue.

Shortly after 1:00 a.m., SWAT officers fired multiple flash-bang grenades into the home and quickly took Espinoza into custody.

During the initial confrontation, witnesses claimed to have heard multiple shots fired and Caldwell told reporters that some of those shots were fired by someone other than law enforcement, but they were unsure who fired them.  

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Espinoza fled from a deputy who fired one shot as he jumped over a backyard fence and evaded capture.

Thank goodness the deputy was able to evade capture. I'm pretty sure it was a good thing only one shot was fired either way, but I'm still not clear who was responsible for firing--at least by the end of this sentence--not that it truly matters, as no one was wounded and the suspect was apprehended.

Nonetheless, do you even Strunk & White bro?

Wow. I didn't think "shoot on sight" orders were still being issued. I didn't read anything about the suspect being armed, so I have to assume the idea is to kill first and sort out the details later? I guess it's a case of, "We are SWAT, Baby, we don't need no stinkin' legal procedures!"

If the person being sought is wanted on a violent crime, and is a threat to the public, you can shoo them, even if they're running, but you obviously have to give them a chance to surrender first.

Yes, giving them a chance to surrender is key, but taking a shot at the guy as he goes over a fence doesn't sound like there was much effort to do that.

Unless there is imminent and significant danger to the public you cannot shoot someone in the back. If it is a fleeing murder suspect, or a violent crime, that would be the exception, and it better be crystal clear there was a serious and imminent danger of future conduct, Tennessee v Garner, cop shot a fleeing teenage burglary suspect in the back, climbing a fence to get away, killing him, he was no imminent or serious danger to the public. Cop paid.

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