SAN DIEGO (CNS) - Authorities released the names Wednesday of three California Highway Patrol personnel who fatally shot a 27-year-old man in a Granite Hills-area neighborhood when he allegedly lunged at them while seemingly reaching for a weapon.
CHP Officers David Bigalk and Ryan Harrison and Sgt. Phillip Jones opened fire on Anthony Osorio of Crest several miles from his home early Sunday morning, sheriff's Lt. Glenn Giannantonio said. Osorio was struck by 18 rounds and died at the scene.
A person who had been with Osorio hours before his death told investigators the suspect had made a statement about committing suicide by forcing police to shoot him, according to Giannantonio.
The events that led to the shooting began shortly after 2:30 a.m., when CHP officers spotted Osorio driving a 2005 Chevrolet Tahoe erratically and at high speed on eastbound Interstate 8, near El Cajon Boulevard, according to Giannantonio.
Osorio refused to yield, instead continuing through El Cajon at speeds up to 95 mph as Bigalk and Harrison gave chase, soon joined by Jones in a second cruiser.
A short time later, the fleeing driver exited at Greenfield Drive and continued to the southeast for about a half-mile before losing control while trying to make a left turn onto La Cresta Road. The SUV overturned and rolled side-to-side, then came to rest on its wheels, its driver's side facing the CHP vehicles, Giannantonio said.
Bigalk, Harrison and Jones pulled their guns and repeatedly directed Osorio to stay where he was and put his hands up, but he instead got out of the damaged Tahoe, shouting profanities at them as he died so, the lieutenant said.
As the lawmen ordered him to get on the ground, Osorio allegedly charged toward them, keeping the right side of his body out of their view.
He then reached his right hand behind his back, as if retrieving a weapon, and began bringing it forward, according to Giannantonio said. At that point, he said, Bigalk, Harrison and Jones fired a total of 33 rounds at the suspect.
"After the CHP officers secured the scene, including checking the vehicle for any possible (additional) suspects, it was determined Osorio did not have anything in his hand when he made the hand movement ... toward the officers," Giannantonio said. "He did have a knife in his pocket but did not remove it during the incident."
A video camera mounted in one of the cruisers recorded the pursuit and shooting, the lieutenant said.
Bigalk has been a CHP officer for four years, Harrison for three and Jones for 15.