Hours after a fatal officer-involved shooting, only the yellow crime-scene tape separated blood stains and a makeshift memorial of votive candles, photos and flowers on Capistrano Drive yesterday. Oceanside police say Juan S. Sanchez, 19, tried to run over an officer shortly before midnight Wednesday who was investigating a report of someone shooting a rifle. The officer fired in self defense, they said. But Sanchez's friends and family who gathered near the shooting scene questioned the official account. Chief Michael Poehlman said it would be inappropriate for him to comment in detail about the investigation until it is over. But Poehlman expressed sympathy for family and friends of Sanchez -- and for the officer who killed him. Police said they were called to nearby Santa Anita Street Wednesday night to investigate a report of a man shooting a rifle. When they arrived, officers tried to pull over a man driving blue Thunderbird who they thought might be involved in the shooting, police said. An officer standing outside his cruiser was grazed by the car when the driver attempted to run him over, police said. The officer opened fire, striking the driver at least once and sending the car into a utility pole. Witness, Mike Nelson said also that paramedics were kept away from the scene even though the driver was still moving. There have been at least seven officer-involved shootings in Oceanside since June 2002, not all fatal. [more ] and [more ]
- Pictured above: Paul Mount, 15, lighted candles for Juan Sanchez, who was killed by a police officer.