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El Cajon police identify sergeant, gunman he hit with vehicle and fatally shot

A police sergeant who shot and killed a gunman during a shootout in El Cajon last month had first used his SUV to strike the man, who had opened fire on the sergeant’s vehicle, police said this week.

Police released a statement Thursday to The San Diego Union-Tribune identifying the sergeant as Kevin Reilly, who has been with the department 16 years. The alleged gunman was identified as 38-year-old Setha Phangdy, who police said was standing in the middle of a residential street, firing at the approaching patrol vehicle, when Reilly struck him and then shot back.

Reilly’s SUV was hit three times by Phangdy’s gunfire, El Cajon police Lt. Randy Soulard said in the statement.

According to police, Phangdy shot and wounded a man inside a business Aug. 19, minutes before the shootout with Reilly. The sergeant was responding to that incident when the gunman opened fire on him on Ballard Street.

Reilly used the SUV to knock the gunman down, police said. He then opened fire on Phangdy, who police said refused to drop what they described as a ghost gun with an extended magazine.

Phangdy was struck by four of the sergeant’s shots.

Reilly’s body-worn camera did not record the shooting, according to police, who said the sergeant did not have time to activate it as he took on gunfire “almost immediately upon (his) arrival in the area.”

The series of events that led to the shooting between Reilly and Phangdy began around 2:15 p.m., when 911 callers reported a man had been shot inside an office building on Main Street near Ballard, police said. Phangdy lived in the area, and police said surveillance video showed him armed and “walking around the business as though he is looking for something or someone.”

After the shooting, the victim barricaded himself inside the business, while Phangdy “calmly (walked) away,” according to a police description of the surveillance footage. Paramedics took the victim to a hospital, where he was treated and released the same day. He told CBS News8 he didn’t know Phangdy and believed he was targeted at random.

The surveillance footage showed Phangdy then briefly going inside a business at a nearby shopping center before walking down Ballard Street, according to police. That’s where Reilly first spotted Phangdy, who allegedly took a “shooting stance” in the middle of the roadway.

“He fired the gun five times and struck the patrol vehicle at least three times,” police said in the statement. “The sergeant, still driving, used his vehicle to hit the suspect who was still shooting at him.”

In addition to the ghost gun, Phangdy allegedly had with him six magazines containing more than 80 rounds, police said.

Photographs provided by police showed the black pistol on the ground, several of the magazines, and Reilly’s SUV with at least two bullet holes in the hood.

Attempts to reach members of Phangdy’s family were unsuccessful Friday.

Police said several people who were in the area that day fled on foot and in vehicles when the gunman opened fire in the street. Investigators urge those witnesses, and anyone else with information about the shooting, to contact the Police Department at (619) 579-3320.



File source

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