San Diego police shot at a home burglary suspect who took residents of a Tierrasanta home hostage and sexually assaulted one of them Saturday morning.
The residents, a 53-year-old woman and her elderly father, called police a little after 2 am when they saw the man in their home on Viacha Drive off Tierrasanta Boulevard, SDPD Capt. Rich Freedman said following the arrest Saturday morning.
Capts. Freedman said the woman and her father tried to barricade themselves in an upstairs room, but the suspect eventually broke in. The suspect exposed himself and sexually assaulted the woman multiple times, SDPD said in a news release sent at around 1 p.m.
Officers entered the home after hearing screams from inside. They tried to get the suspect to surrender, but he then took the woman and man hostage and moved them into another room of the house at gunpoint, the release said.
SDPD was able to get the elderly man out of the house and onto a balcony. As they negotiated with the man from outside the room he was in, the suspect fired at least one shot.
An officer who had climbed onto the next-door neighbor’s roof was able to fire at the suspect several times through a window. None of the shots hit the suspect but they did prompt him to surrender to officers, SDPD said.
SDPD said the officer who fired the shot has been with the department for eight years and currently works with the Eastern Division.
Th suspect was identified as Demetrius Trussel, 40. He was jailed on several charges, including hot prowl burglary, kidnapping, false imprisonment with a hostage, negligent discharge of a firearm, possession of a stolen vehicle, indecent exposure, assault with the intent to commit a sex crime, sexual battery, multiple counts of assault with a deadly weapon and a parole hold, SDPD said.
Officers had responded to two attempted burglary reports in the neighborhood within around 90 minutes of the incident on Viacha Drive, Freedman said. The first was on Rueda Drive at around 12:30 am and the second was on La Cuenta Drive at around 1 am
Witnesses told police the suspect in those burglary attempts to drive a white minivan. Freedman said a stolen white minivan was recovered from the driveway of the home on Viacha Drive.
SDPD’s Homicide Unit is investigating the incident, which is standard protocol when officers fire their weapons during an incident. The incident will be reviewed by the San Diego County District Attorney’s Office, SDPD’s Internal Affairs Unit and Shooting Review Board, and the Commission on Police Practices.
Anyone with information regarding this incident is asked to call the Homicide Unit at (619) 531-2293 or Crime Stoppers at (888) 580-8477.