Suspect in Escondido officer-involved shooting identified

ESCONDIDO (CNS) – Authorities released the name Friday of a 37-year-old felon who was fatally shot by police when he allegedly pointed a homemade shotgun at them from inside his weapons-packed SUV in front of a North County gated community.

William Daniel Mayes of Mira Mesa was wanted on suspicion of abusing his father when San Diego police tried to arrest him just west of Interstate 15 in Escondido on Wednesday evening, authorities said during a media briefing this morning.

Detectives were investigating the alleged elder assault when they got a report that the suspect had been making bombs at his Capricorn Way home, SDPD Capt. Terry McManus said. For safety reasons, police decided against arresting him there, and instead lured him under false pretenses to a park-and-ride facility near Kit Carson Park in Escondido, the captain said.

Arriving at the transit lot about 8 p.m., Mayes apparently realized he was being followed by plainclothes police. He sped off, then lost control of his Ford Explorer a short distance away, sending it crashing into a low concrete wall at Avenida Magoria and Del Lago Boulevard.

With police surrounding the SUV, Mayes allegedly began raising a long- barreled gun he had slung around his neck, prompting five officers to open fire. He died at the scene.

The San Diego Metro Arson Strike Team searched the suspect's body and SUV, finding four homemade guns, seven pipe bombs and other small makeshift explosive devices, some of which he was carrying in his clothing, authorities said.

It was unclear why Mayes, who had an arson conviction on his criminal record, created the arsenal and was driving around with it, McManus told reporters.

“We're not in possession of any information that would indicate that he had a specific plan — either in his head, on paper or elsewhere — targeting an individual or group,” the captain said.

The Escondido Police Department was heading investigations into the officer-involved shooting.

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