Protesters assail police shooting in Downtown San Diego

SAN DIEGO (KUSI) – About 100 protesters gathered in front of the San Diego Police Department Sunday to demonstrate against Saturday’s police shooting of a man who was reported to be in intensive care with life-threatening injuries.

The man was identified as 25-year-old Leonardo Hurtado Ibarra of San Diego, police said.

Ibarra was shot at 5:45 p.m. Saturday in the 1200 block of Sixth Avenue, when two officers from the San Diego Police Department noticed a man leaving a building on the west side of the street and thought he resembled a man sought in connection with a June 21 robbery, according to SDPD Lt. Matt Dobbs.

Officers thought they recognized Ibarra from a wanted poster because of the distinctive tattoos on his face, Dobbs said.

The officers tried to engage Ibarra, before he took out a gun from his waistband and pointed it at one of them, Dobbs said.

“When the officers attempted to contact the male he refused to cooperate with their directions and walked away,” Dobbs said, adding one officer chased him down the street, the other on the sidewalk. “As he was walking, he dropped the items he was carrying in his hands and began reaching towards his waistband.”

It was the officer in the street the suspect was aiming at, Dobbs said. Both officers shot at Ibarra, who was hit and fell to the ground, he said.

The officers handcuffed Ibarra and provided first aid before paramedics took him to a local hospital, where he underwent surgery, police said.

No officers were injured.

About 50-60 “Justice for Leo” protesters gathered at about 1 p.m. at the intersection of Sixth Avenue and A Street, where a small tribute was set up and began to grow with more flowers and candles Sunday.

From there, the group grew in size and marched to police headquarters at 1401 Broadway.

The police department tweeted updates about the shooting Saturday night, including a photo of a gun that had been wrapped in cloth, allegedly carried by the man who was shot.

Responders to the police accounts on Twitter asked for the immediate release of body-cam video from both officers.

San Diegans for Justice issued a statement demanding release of any video footage.

“San Diegans for Justice is requesting SDPD release body-cam footage immediately, give the public a timeline for the internal investigation of the incident, and make all aspects of the investigation public as soon as it is completed,” the group said.

The SDPD tweeted, “We understand transparency is important. We are working tirelessly to gather all video evidence including body-worn camera footage so that it can be released without delay.”

Police said surveillance video from a nearby business backs up their claim the man refused to cooperate. Police tweeted a single  image from the surveillance video of the incident and pictures of a gun found on the sidewalk.

On Sunday, NAACP San Diego Branch President Francine Maxwell said about Saturday’s shooting: “Now is not the time to temporize and withhold and spin in an effort to sell a pre-determined narrative. Now is the time to show bold leadership and come clean with the public. We will be watching very closely.”

After the Homicide Unit completes its investigation, the shooting will be reviewed by the San Diego County District Attorney’s Office to determine whether the officers face any criminal liability for their actions, police said.

The Internal Affairs Unit, the Shooting Review Board and the Community Review Board on Police Practices also will review the shooting. The Federal Bureau of Investigation and the U.S. Attorney’s Office will monitor the investigations.

Anyone with information regarding this incident is asked to call the Homicide Unit at 619-531-2293 or Crime Stoppers at 888-580-8477.

Categories: Local San Diego News