REGION — A San Diego police sergeant who was seriously wounded in a 4S Ranch-area shootout that fatally injured an auto-theft and domestic-violence suspect was identified Tuesday.
Anthony Elliott, a six-year member of the San Diego Police Department, suffered a gunshot wound to the head late Thursday night in the exchange of gunfire at a strip mall west of Interstate 15 and just north of Camino Del Norte, according to the San Diego Police Officers Association.
Elliott was hospitalized in serious but stable condition.
Curtis Harris of San Diego allegedly opened fire on police after they tried to contact him at 4S Commons Town Center. Three officers returned fire, mortally wounding Harris, according to the county Sheriff’s Department, which investigates uses of lethal force on the part of SDPD personnel.
Harris, 46, died at a trauma center early Friday morning.
The events that led to the deadly exchange of gunfire began about 10 p.m. Thursday, when police began searching for Harris, the subject of an unserved restraining order, as well as a suspect in a vehicle theft and a domestic-abuse case, sheriff’s Lt. Joseph Jarjura said.
Roughly 90 minutes later, officers found the allegedly stolen vehicle parked at the northeastern San Diego shopping center.
“Officers developed a plan to serve the suspect with the (court order),” Jarjura said. “The suspect was inside (a) Ralphs store. Some officers attempted to contact him, but he ran out of the store. Other officers were outside of the store and in the parking lot.”
Upon exiting the supermarket, the suspect started shooting at police, drawing the fusillade of return fire that killed him, according to Jarjura.
The names of the officers who fired on Harris have not been released.
In a social-media posting, the police officers’ association on Tuesday morning announced a campaign to raise money to aid Elliott – who remains hospitalized and undergoing “critical care,” according to the agency – and his family.
Contributions may be made to the Peace Officers Research Association of California at https://porac.org/fundraiser/sdpd-sgtelliott/.
“We want to extend our heartfelt support to (Elliott’s) wife, Laura, and their two children, a 3-year-old boy and almost-1-year-old boy, who are holding on to hope and strength during this incredibly challenging time of his recovery.”
In a message on the website, Laura Elliott described her husband as “the most honorable and selfless man that I know,” as well as a lawman who “has given his heart and soul” to the SDPD and an exemplary husband and father.
“There’s nothing more important to him than his family, and I know that because he makes us feel that way every single day,” she stated. “The first thing he said to me after he was shot was, ‘I just want to be able to hold my kids again.”’
The family also has set up its own GoFundMe.com account seeking monetary contributions. It may be accessed at https://www.gofundme.com/f/go-fund-me-for-the-elliott-family.