Suspect dead after standoff at S.D. High and pursuit that went into Point Loma, with shots fired

SWAT officers gather on a street corner near San Diego High School, where a wanted man was holed up in a trash bin.
Police and SWAT officers gather the night of April 12 on a street corner near San Diego High School, where a wanted man was holed up in a trash bin.

A fugitive suspected of shooting at private investigators and police twice within the past month is dead following an overnight standoff with police in downtown San Diego.

The suspect, Christopher Templo Marquez, 36, was shot and killed by officers who opened fire believing he was about to shoot a woman who was with him, police said.

The shooting ended a standoff that lasted more than 11 hours, sparked when law enforcement officers were fired on the night of April 12 during a pursuit that went through Point Loma, police said.

The pursuit ended at about 8:45 p.m. when the vehicle being chased plowed through a gate and stopped on the football field of Balboa Stadium on the San Diego High School campus, according to San Diego police Officer John Buttle. Two occupants of the vehicle, reportedly armed with a rifle and a handgun, then ran onto the campus and took refuge in a trash bin.

A SWAT standoff with the pair went into the morning of April 13.

The police action prompted the San Diego Unified School District to switch three schools from in-person to online instruction for the day. Classes will be online for San Diego High, Garfield High and East Village Middle College High students, said school district spokeswoman Maureen Magee.

Police had been looking for Christopher Templo Marquez, 36, in connection with shootings in Chula Vista and National City.

Police said a man holed up in the trash bin was Marquez, accompanied by a woman. Marquez was accused of shooting and wounding a private investigator last month in Chula Vista and shooting at National City police officers last week.

Police negotiators were in conversations with the two in hopes of getting them to come out safely, Lt. Matt Botkin said.

Police homicide Lt. Matt Dobbs said Marquez grew increasingly agitated as the standoff stretched on. The woman tried to escape from the trash bin several times, but Marquez pulled her back in, Dobbs said.

SWAT officers had a partial view inside the trash bin and saw Marquez “maneuvering a rifle toward the woman,” Dobbs said in a news release. Two officers fired their guns, killing Marquez.

Police pulled the woman from the container. She was not injured.

The pursuit began when National City police tried to stop a vehicle Marquez and the woman were in at about 8:15 p.m. April 12, according to authorities. That started a chase that stretched into Point Loma before reaching downtown, Dobbs said.

Someone inside the vehicle opened fire on pursuing law enforcement vehicles near Nimitz Boulevard and West Point Loma Boulevard, Dobbs said.

Someone from the vehicle again opened fire on law enforcement near A Street and 10th Avenue in downtown San Diego.

When the chase got to the high school campus on Park Boulevard, more shots followed. A National City officer returned fire with a rifle.

Radio traffic indicated that during the standoff, police officers were using a remote-controlled robot to peer into the trash bin while San Diego police and county sheriff’s crews aboard several helicopters also monitored the bin for movement.

The helicopter crews, the personnel guiding the robot and emergency crisis negotiators reported that the people hiding inside the bin were smoking, requesting water and becoming agitated by the robot’s presence.


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