Spring Valley SWAT standoff ends after suspect not found, police - KUSI News - San Diego, CA

Spring Valley SWAT standoff ends after suspect not found, police believe suspect connected to Gaslamp shooting of off-duty sheriff's deputy

Posted: Updated:
37-year-old Ray Pitoau (Facebook) 37-year-old Ray Pitoau (Facebook)

SPRING VALLEY (KUSI) —  A SWAT team and San Diego police officers surrounded a home in Spring Valley Wednesday, believing the suspect who shot an off-duty deputy in the Gaslamp District Monday morning was inside.

San Diego police went to the house in the 1600 block of Tarleton Street in Spring Valley Wednesday at about 3 p.m. searching for 37-year-old Ray Pitoau, who they believe shot Sheriff's Deputy Jason Philpot in a seemingly unprovoked attack.

After SWAT arrived on scene and entered the residence, Pitoau was not found inside, leaving the investigation ongoing. 

Related Link: Off-duty Sheriff's deputy shot in Gaslamp, search for suspects continue

On Monday, Sheriff's Deputy Philpot was walking with a group of people, including two off-duty Escondido police officers, when a long-haired man armed with a pistol confronted them in the 500 block of Island Avenue in the Gaslamp Quarter at about 1:15 a.m. 

Philpot tried in vain to wrest away the weapon, and during the struggle it repeatedly discharged, wounding him three times in the shoulder, Officer John Buttle said. A man walking nearby was injured in the arm by an apparent stray round.

Medics took Philpot to UCSD Medical Center in Hillcrest. The other victim drove himself to a hospital, SDPD Lt. Ernesto Servin said. Both were expected to recover.

It was unclear what prompted the violence.

"We know there was a confrontation,'' Servin told reporters. "But what was said? We don't know exactly.''

Investigators were reviewing images of the incident captured by surveillance cameras at several businesses in the busy downtown district two blocks south of Westfield Horton Plaza mall.

The assailant may have been with a companion at the time of the fracas, according to Servin.

"We think there may have been two (men), based on the video, but right now we're focused on the individual with the gun,'' the lieutenant said.

Pitoau is described as a Samoan male, 5'11", 225 pounds with an SD tattoo on his chest and long, dark hair styled in braids. He is to be considered armed and dangerous.

Anyone with information on his whereabouts is asked to call the San Diego Police Department at 619 531-2000 or San Diego Crime Stoppers Anonymous Tip Line at (888) 580-8477. Crime Stoppers is offering up to a $1,000.00 reward for information leading to his arrest.

  • KUSI.com Feedback Form

    Questions or suggestions about this story? Message KUSI News below:

    * denotes required fields
    We're sorry, but only one entry is allowed per person.
    Thank you for your continued interest.

    Thanks for your feedback.  We value your opinion!


  • Sign up here for breaking news email alerts

    * denotes required fields

    Thank you for signing up! You will receive a confirmation email shortly.

Powered by Frankly


4575 Viewridge Ave. San Diego, CA 92123
Newsroom: 858-571-NEWS (6397)
Turko Files: 858-571-FILE (3453)
Business offices: 858-571-5151

Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2017 KUSI. All Rights Reserved. For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy, and Terms of Service, and Ad Choices.