LAKESIDE, Calif. – Authorities said a 15-minute shootout on Tuesday left two sherrif’s deputies and a suspected child molester injured in suburban San Diego.
Daniel Witczak, 30, opened fire as a team of deputies arrived to his apartment to investigate allegations of child abuse, the sheriff’s department said in a statement.
Sgt. Craig Johnson and Detective Ali Perez were wounded in the gunfire at an apartment in Lakeside, a semi-rural community east of San Diego. Witczak’s girlfriend contacted police when she found pornographic pictures of her two daughters, ages 6 and 8, on his cellphone, according U-T San Diego.
The girlfriend met with investigators and called Witczak, with detectives listening in, to confront him about the photos. Witczak told her he was offered $50,000 to post the images on the Internet.
The newspaper did not identify the woman to protect her children’s identities. She said she heard deputies arrive at the apartment while she was on the phone. She heard gunshots and someone say, “Officers down.”
The woman told the newspaper that the boyfriend said he shot himself and she heard him surrender. Sheriff’s Capt. Duncan Fraser said investigators don’t believe Witczak shot himself, and that Perez and Johnson were outside the door when Witczak fired at them.
Witczak’s condition was unknown.
Sheriff Bill Gore declined to specify Perez and Johnson’s injuries but said in a statement that the department was “hopeful and cautiously optimistic” about their recovery.
“We had two of our deputies shot today in the line of duty,” Gore said. “It’s a constant reminder of how dangerous this job is that we do every day.”
Source: CBS News