$6K reward for information that will lead to arrest of man accused of shooting off-duty officer downtown

SAN DIEGO (KUSI) — Authorities announced a $6,000 reward Thursday for information that leads to the arrest of a fugitive suspected of wounding an off-duty lawman and a bystander with gunfire near Petco Park.

Ray Koloseta Pitoau, 37, allegedly opened fire on sheriff’s Deputy Jason Philpot in the 500 block of Island Avenue in the Gaslamp Quarter of downtown San Diego on Aug. 7, according to police.

About 1:15 that morning, Philpot suffered three bullet wounds to his right shoulder while trying to wrest a revolver away from a long-haired man who accosted him and several companions, including two off-duty Escondido police officers.

A round also struck a nearby pedestrian in an arm.

Following the gunfire, the assailant fled to the south and east.

The reason for the violence was unclear.

Pitoau, who should be considered armed and dangerous, is a 5-foot-11-inch, roughly 225-pound Samoan with black hair, brown eyes and a large tattoo of the letters "SD” on the right side of his chest, officials said.

Philpot has been employed by the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department for 11 years and serves in the agency’s Emergency Services Division.

The Deputy Sheriffs Association of San Diego County contributed $5,000 to the reward fund in the case, adding to the standard $1,000 monetary incentive offered by San Diego County Crime Stoppers for information in unsolved cases

Anyone who might be able to help investigators track down Pitoau was asked to call Crime Stoppers at (888) 580-8477 or contact the agency online at sdcrimestoppers.org.

Tipsters may remain anonymous.

Categories: Local San Diego News