Alhambra Cop Shoots Self Accidentally in Incident on Road

The San Marino Police Department continues to look into a Sunday incident in which an off-duty Alhambra police officer accidentally shot himself while an off-duty Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputy was attempting to communicate with him as the two drove on Duarte Road.
The Alhambra officer wounded himself in the torso while drawing his handgun, according to San Marino Police Chief John Incontro. The officer was hospitalized with non-life-threatening injuries; no one else was harmed during the incident.
Incontro said the incident by all accounts appeared to result from misunderstandings that likely were magnified by the fact that neither man seems to have known the other was also a law enforcement officer. He added that his department remains in contact with the county district attorney’s office as San Marino officers collect evidence, such as from nearby home security cameras, and continue interviews.
The off-duty deputy, who lives in the neighborhood, told the SMPD he was driving his personal Mercedes-Benz vehicle on Duarte Road east of San Gabriel Boulevard at about 8:30 a.m. Sunday, Sept. 22, when he saw the Alhambra officer “driving erratically” in his Subaru. The deputy said he followed the Subaru along Duarte, eventually crossing into San Marino, in an attempt to catch up with him and tell him to not speed in the neighborhood.
At this point, the deputy said he pulled alongside the Subaru and tried motioning to its driver to roll down his window. The Alhambra officer told San Marino police that he was unsure who was trying to communicate with him and that he pulled toward the curb to let the Mercedes-Benz pass him.
The Alhambra officer added that he felt the Mercedes-Benz driver was driving aggressively and that he began to “fear for his safety,” according to SMPD. In response, the officer said, he began to draw his handgun, which was holstered to his waistband, and accidentally shot himself, SMPD said. Incontro added that the officer seems to have hit a speed bump while drawing his handgun.
The off-duty deputy drove away at that point but later returned to the scene, Incontro said, at which point the two men finally learned each other’s identity. There is no evidence so far that road rage factored into the incident, Incontro added.
The deputy is assigned to his department’s Court Services Division, according to Incontro, and the Alhambra officer has been with his department for a couple of years.
Anyone with information to contribute to the investigation is encouraged to contact Detective Vanessa Golden at dgolden@smpd.us or (626) 300-0719.

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