Robbery Suspect Wounded in Shootout

Robbery Suspect Wounded in Shootout (Paul Anderegg / October 15, 2012)

CHULA VISTA, Calif. -- A man suspected of robbing a South Bay drugstore early Monday was wounded a short time later in a shootout with a patrolman, authorities reported.

The officer arrived at the CVS Pharmacy on Third Avenue in Chula Vista in response to the holdup shortly after 1:30 a.m. and immediately spotted a man matching the bandit's description near the business, according to police.

Before the officer was able to get out of his cruiser, the suspect fired several shots in his direction, then walked off toward nearby Eucalyptus Park, Capt. Gary Wedge said.

A moment later, however, the man turned around and headed back toward the pharmacy, the captain said.

"While doing so, the suspect pointed his gun at the officer,'' Wedge said. "Believing the suspect was going to shoot at him again, the officer, who was now out of his vehicle, fired three rounds from his patrol rifle, striking the suspect once in the leg.''

Medics took the suspect to a hospital, where he will remain under guard until he has recovered enough to be transferred to county jail, the captain said.

The officer, a 13-year member of the Chula Vista Police Department, was uninjured. Authorities did not immediately release his name or that of the suspect.

Officers gathering evidence at the scene of the shootings recovered a small-caliber pistol believed to have been wielded by the robber, money that apparently had been stolen from the business and car keys taken from a customer under threat of violence during the holdup.

Traffic lanes were closed in the area to allow for investigations until shortly after 10:30 a.m., Lt. Buddy Magor said.