Mayor Sanders reflects on McDonald’s massacre

SAN DIEGO (CNS) – Mayor Jerry Sanders, who coordinated police response
to a massacre in San Ysidro 28 years ago, called Friday's shooting that killed
12 at a Colorado theater “a tragic incident.”

Sanders commanded the San Diego Police Department's SWAT team during the
1984 McDonald's massacre in San Ysidro shooting where 21 people were killed
and 19 injured and gave police snipers permission to fire on the suspect.

He planned to call Steve Hogan, the mayor of Aurora, Colo., the
sprawling Denver suburb where today's massacre occurred.

“I doubt I'll be able to get him today, but I'll let him know we're
thinking about them,” Sanders said. “That's one of those things that's
unforeseen, pretty rare, but it will really cause some tremendous problems in
that community for a while until they come to grips with it.”

Sanders said his heart goes out to the families of those killed and
those who were injured.

The Colorado shootings took place two days after the 28th anniversary of
the San Ysidro massacre. Sanders was a lieutenant in charge of SWAT officers
when 41-year-old unemployed security guard James Huberty opened fire on
customers at the fast food outlet.

Huberty was armed with an Uzi assault rifle, a shotgun and pistol and
fired at patrons until he was felled by a police sniper, who was given
permission to fire by Sanders.

Sanders was at a reception in Mission Valley when the gunman went into
the restaurant, and it took almost a half-hour for him to be informed because
his pager was broken, according to media reports. He arrived at the scene and
gave snipers the “green light” to fire about an hour after the incident
started.

Sanders later became the chief of the SDPD, and was elected mayor of San
Diego in 2005 after stints leading the local branches of the United Way and
American Red Cross.

Categories: KUSI