Bankers Hill suspect lashes out in court, judge orders him to leave

SAN DIEGO (KUSI) – Friday 3:39 p.m. – The man involved in the five-hour SWAT standoff Wednesday night stood before a court Friday and pleaded not guilty to three counts of premeditated attempted murder of a peace officer.

Titus Nathan Colbert, 33, was arrested Wednesday after refusing to leave his apartment in Bankers Hill, which eventually led to a tense SWAT standoff.

On Friday, while being brought into the courtroom, Colbert addressed the court, saying  he stood for the "new world order” and would not be subjected to "criminal abuse.”

When he wouldn’t stop shouting, Judge David Szumowski had him removed from the courtroom.

Colbert was also charged with possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, was ordered held without bail. He faces 105 years to life in prison if convicted.

Colbert — who has a 2012 drug conviction — will be back in court Nov. 13. A Nov. 20 preliminary hearing date was also set.

Wednesday 11/4/2015 at 8:10 p.m. – Statement released from the San Diego Police Department after SWAT standoff in Bankers Hill Wednesday afternoon.

On Wednesday, November 4, 2015, at about 9:25 a.m., uniformed San Diego Police Officers responded to a radio call of a domestic violence related burglary in the 2400 block of Brant Street. Officers, including a K9 dog, found a broken sliding glass door on the apartment and conducted a security check inside. 

As the officers checked the interior of the residence, the suspect fired several gunshots at them through a partially closed interior door, narrowly missing them. The officers returned fire and exited the apartment.

Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) personnel arrived at the scene as the suspect continued to fire multiple rounds out of the windows targeting officers and endangering the public. Emergency Negotiators arrived and attempted to have the suspect surrender over a 5 hour period. However, he continued to sporadically fire gunshots. 

At about 2:40 p.m., the suspect surrendered and was taken into custody. He was identified as 33 year-old Titus Nathan Colbert of Las Vegas. Colbert was not injured but was taken to a local hospital as a precautionary measure. He will be booked into County Jail for attempted murder on a police officer(s), possession of an assault rifle, and a host of other charges. 

Two officers were involved in this officer-involved shooting; the first officer is an 8-year veteran and the second officer is a 4-year veteran of the San Diego Police Department. 

Homicide investigators will be processing the scene over the next 24 hours. It is not known how many rounds were fired by the suspect at this early stage of the investigation, but a handgun and an assault rifle were recovered at the scene. 

4:06 p.m. – Mayor Kevin Faulconer and San Diego Chief of Police Shelley Zimmerman held a press conference Wednesday afternoon after the nearly five hour SWAT standoff in Bankers Hill.

According to Chief Zimmerman, the suspect has been taken into custody and is being held on numerous charges, including attempted murder of several police officers.

"We are just grateful no one was injured," Chief Zimmerman said.

3:57 p.m. – The suspect involved in the SWAT standoff in Bankers Hill has been identified as 33-year-old Titus Colbert. 

A woman who allegedly had been abused by the suspect was able to get out safely and was in protective police custody, SDPD public affairs Lt. Scott Wahl told news crews.

2:40 p.m. – Suspect surrenders to police and is in their custody, according to the San Diego Police Department.

The FAA also lifted the ground stop at the San Diego International Airport.

1:45 p.m. –  The Federal Aviation Administration says a hold on arrivals at Lindbergh Field in San Diego is still in place, despite comments from police that it’s now safe for aircraft to land.

The hold has resulted in numerous flight cancellations and delays.

1:27 p.m. – The SWAT standoff in Bankers Hill enters its fourth hour.

Crisis negotiators were able to establish an "open dialogue” with the suspect, who nonetheless continued refusing to surrender, even after officers fired tear-gas grenades into his apartment.

Nearby City Tree Christian and Washington Elementary schools were placed on lockdown status to make certain their students and staff remained safe. 

Several St. Paul’s senior housing and child-care centers in the area also were keeping everyone secured indoors to be on the safe side.

11:45 a.m. –  A domestic-violence suspect opened fire on patrol officers from inside his Bankers Hill apartment Wednesday, prompting evacuations and road closures in the uptown neighborhood just west of Balboa Park and forcing a suspension of flight arrivals at nearby Lindbergh Field.

SDPD public-affairs Lt. Scott Wahl told news crews  San Diego police were responding to a reported disturbance in the 2400 block of Brant Street when they were fired on with a high-powered rifle about 9:15 a.m.

The shots came through a closed interior door of the apartment, nearly striking the personnel, Wahl said.

"We’re talking within inches of hitting the officers,” the spokesman said, adding that there were no known injuries.

It was not immediately clear if the suspect, whose name was not immediately available, was alone in the fourth-floor residence in which he was holed up, though police made contact with the woman who allegedly had been abused by the suspect.

Officers cleared residents out of some neighboring apartments, closed the street in front of the building along with stretches of Albatross, Curlew and Front streets between Laurel and West Ivy streets and called in special weapons and tactics personnel.

Residents close to the scene of the gunfire were directed to stay in their homes, away from windows.

"(The shooter) has been actively firing, sporadically, throughout this incident,” Wahl said.

Nearby City Tree Christian and Washington Elementary schools were placed on lockdown status as a precaution.

Crisis negotiators made contact with the suspect during the standoff, Wahl said. He remained uncooperative in the late morning, despite the fact that officers had fired tear-gas bombs into his apartment.

11:38 p.m. – A SWAT standoff with an armed domestic violence suspect in Bankers Hill Wednesday disrupted flight operations at Lindbergh Field, according to airport officials and the Federal Aviation Administration.

A full ground stop was in effect for about a half-hour, according to the airport’s Rebecca Bloomfield. Aircraft departures were allowed to resume around 11 a.m., she said.

The location on Brant Street is under the flight path for arriving aircraft, so they have either been diverted or sent into holding patterns, Ian Gregor of the FAA told City News Service.

Gregory said flights heading to San Diego from the western U.S. that haven’t left yet were being held on the ground at their departing airport.

Bloomfield said passengers traveling via Lindbergh Field should check with their airline on the status of their flight.

10:15 a.m. – BREAKING NEWS: A domestic violence suspect has barricaded himself in a Bankers Hill apartment after firing multiple shots at police units from the complex roof. 

The incident began on Brant Street and West Laurel Street and prompted police to shut down surrounding streets including Albatross, Curlew and Brant. 

A police helicopter also flew overhead ordering citizens to avoid the area and residents to stay inside and avoid all street-facing windows. 

The suspect was believed to have a long rifle of some sort. 

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