Navy officer pleads guilty to raising a military assault rifle towards policeman
A Navy non-commissioned officer who was shot by a San
Diego policeman after raising a military assault rifle in his direction pleaded
guilty on Tuesday to a felony charge of brandishing a firearm in the presence of a
Petty Officer 2nd Class Esteban Nandin, who is stationed at Coronado
Amphibious Base, faces a maximum of three years in prison when he is sentenced
Dec. 16 by Judge Eugenia Eyherabide.
Nandin, 25, withdrew his plea of not guilty by reason of insanity in
order to plead guilty.
San Diego police officers were called to a six-story residential unit,
above commercial space and just south of Horton Plaza, shortly before 3 a.m.
last Oct. 14.
Someone inside 606 Third Ave. told a 911 dispatcher that a man wearing a
tactical vest and carrying a military-style assault-type weapon was in a
first-floor corridor, according to police.
Officers entered the building's lobby and spotted a man — later
identified as Nandin — with a gun. He saw the officers and began to raise the
barrel of the weapon toward them. The officer closest to Nandin — an 18-year
veteran of the department — responded by firing two rounds from his duty
weapon, striking him, police said.
Nandin retreated into the stairwell and a SWAT team was called. About 50
minutes later, Nandin — bleeding from his chest and arm — emerged from the
building unarmed and was taken into custody.
A loaded military-style assault rifle, gas mask, handgun and a body
armor vest were found in the stairwell, police said.
Investigators determined the rifle was not loaded, said Deputy District
Attorney Robert Eacret. A motive was not clear.