Deputies who were involved in shootout at Barona Reservation identified

SAN DIEGO (KUSI) – Authorities Thursday publicly identified five lawmen who came under fire last weekend while investigating a report of domestic violence at the Barona Indian Reservation, prompting a shootout that left a woman wounded.

San Diego County sheriff’s Sgt. Michael Cruz and Deputies Bryson Benavente, Tony Bernal, Nicholas McGregor and Robert Simpson returned fire when 23-year-old ex-con Gianni Oliver emerged from a home in the 4000 block of Capitan Grande and allegedly began shooting at them on Sunday evening, department officials said.

Oliver’s girlfriend, also 23, was speaking with the deputies when the shootout erupted and was wounded by the suspect’s gunfire, Lt. Thomas Seiver said. She was treated at a hospital for non-life-threatening injuries and has since been discharged.

Oliver surrendered following a brief standoff and was booked into county jail on suspicion of attempted murder, being a felon in possession of a firearm and other criminal counts.

Benavente has been employed by the Sheriff’s Department for eight years, Bernal for two, Cruz for 14, McGregor for seven and Simpson for 22, Seiver said.

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