Jonathan De Guzman, a 16-year veteran of the San Diego Police Department, was killed during a routine stop in the Southcrest neighborhood of San Diego. The shooter’s information is unknown, although he is listed in critical condition. Another officer was shot during the stop, but he is currently recovering from surgery and is expected to survive. A SWAT standoff extended into the early hours of the morning, as police surrounded the home of a second suspect involved in the shooting.
The two suspects were reportedly involved in a gang. Per capita, Southcrest itself ranks as one of the most violent neighborhoods in San Diego County, with 122 total crimes being reported in 2014 with a population of just above 10,000 people. Gang violence is not new in San Diego, but the murder of a police officer in San Diego is rare, with only 33 of them occurring in the past 100 years.
This does not alleviate the pain these families who woke up this morning without a father feel. The killer is reported to be an illegal Hispanic immigrant, but we cannot judge many by the actions of one. The killer and anyone else involved in the shooting will get their due justice.
Many have cited the figure that police shootings are up 78 percent this year. While this tragic statistic is true, the trend is the opposite that has been occurring over the past 10 years. In 2011, 73 officers were shot and killed in the line of duty. In 2015, there were 41 officers shot. So far this year there have been 34 fatal officer shootings, compared to 19 at this point last year.
The uptick this year is largely attributed to the Dallas police shootings, in which five officers were slain by a man with a high-powered rifle. It is interesting to note that Texas, an open-carry state, is far and away the “leader” when it comes to police officer shootings. They have had 14 so far this year, and Louisiana, the next closest state, has had seven. California has the next most with four.
*Featured image by Jamelle Bouie, via WikiCommons