By SDCN Editor
San Diego, CA–San Diego police continue their investigation of a man suspected of attempted hot prowl burglaries, and holding one resident hostage at gunpoint early Saturday morning in Tierrasanta, authorities said.
The suspect, identified as 40-year-old Demetrius Trussell, was booked into jail on multiple charges including hot prowl burglary, kidnapping, false imprisonment with a hostage, negligent discharge of a firearm, possession of a stolen vehicle, indecent exposure, assault with the intent to commit a sex crime, sexual battery, multiple counts of assault with a deadly weapon, and a parole hold.
On Saturday at approximately 12:30 a.m., the San Diego Police Communications Center received a report that someone tried to force entry into a residence in Tierrasanta in the 4000 block of Rueda Drive. The suspect was believed to have fled in a white minivan.
Approximately 30 minutes later, while officers were still checking the area for the suspect, the police communications center received a report that a bald, Black male, in his 20s or 30s, tried to force entry into another residence in Tierrasanta in the 5300 block of La Cuenta Drive. Officers responded and began checking the area for the suspect.
At approximately 2:18 a.m., the communications center received a call that a man had broken into a residence in the 10900 block of Viacha Drive. A 53-year-old woman had barricaded herself in a room with her elderly father.
Investigators believe the suspect broke into the room where the homeowner was barricaded, produced a firearm, and threatened the homeowner.
As officers arrived, they could see a white minivan in the driveway. It had previously been reported stolen in a carjacking. The van matched the description from the first radio call, police said.
Hearing screams from inside the residence, officers forced entry and confronted the suspect. Ignoring officers’ commands to surrender, the suspect took the victim hostage at gunpoint and forced her into another bedroom. During the totality of this interaction, he exposed himself and sexually battered the homeowner multiple times.
Officers managed to evacuate the homeowner’s father onto a balcony. An officer climbed onto the balcony to protect him.
While officers were attempting to negotiate a safe resolution of the hostage situation, the suspect fired at least one round inside the room.
Shortly after shots were fired, an officer, who had climbed onto a nearby rooftop, used a rifle to fire multiple rounds at the suspect through a window. He was not struck by the rounds.
However, in response to the rifle rounds, the suspect dropped to the floor, threw the gun away, and was taken into custody. The homeowner and her father were safely rescued.
The officer who fired the rounds has been employed by the San Diego Police Department for approximately eight years. His current assignment is Eastern Division patrol.
Investigators from the San Diego Police Homicide Unit were called to the scene. Detectives are still working to establish that the suspect was the same in all three reported incidents in Tierrasanta.
When San Diego police complete their investigation, it will be reviewed by the San Diego County District Attorney’s Office to determine if the officer bears any criminal liability for his actions. The Internal Affairs Unit will conduct an investigation to determine if there were any policy violations, and the Shooting Review Board will evaluate the tactics used by the officers.
The Commission on Police Practices will conduct a review of the incident and provide any appropriate recommendations. The Federal Bureau of Investigation and the United States Attorney’s Office will also be monitoring the investigation.