Oceanside PD Officer Down
They have not released his name yet.....:(
Police officer is fatally shot in traffic stop
By Kristina Davis and David E. Graham
UNION-TRIBUNE STAFF WRITERS
December 21, 2006
OCEANSIDE – An Oceanside police officer was shot and killed last night while assisting with a traffic stop, officials said.
DON KOHLBAUER / Union-Tribune
Law enforcement members gathered last night in Oceanside near North River Road and Vandegrift Boulevard after an Oceanside police officer was shot during a traffic stop nearby. The officer later died.
The shooting happened about 6:30 p.m. near Gold Drive and Arthur Avenue. The officer was flown to Scripps Memorial Hospital in La Jolla, where he died, Oceanside Capt. David Heering said.
A suspect had not been arrested last night.
The officer's name had not been released.
He had come to assist the initial officer who made the traffic stop about 6:20 p.m., Heering said. He apparently was shot from behind, Oceanside Mayor Jim Wood said. The bullet got past his protective vest, Wood said. It was unclear where the shots came from.
The mayor, a former police officer who came to the scene to lend his moral support, said the officer was recently married and had a 2-month-old baby.
About 6:20 p.m., as the first officer made the traffic stop, she asked for another officer to assist, Heering said.
About 10 minutes into the traffic stop, the same female officer radioed that shots had been fired and asked for additional officers to respond, Heering said.
Heering said police were searching the area and had about two blocks cordoned off. Officers were interviewing several people, including those involved in the traffic stop, Heering said.
“We're going to stay out here all night until we find the person that did this,” he said.
Law enforcement officers from as far as Coronado, National City and Chula Vista were at the scene, as were sheriff's deputies, California Highway Patrol officers, and officers from the county Probation Department, Carlsbad and Escondido.
This is the second Oceanside police officer shot and killed in the past three years. On June 13, 2003, Tony Zeppetella, 27, died.
Zeppetella was shot in the parking lot of the Navy Federal Credit Union in Oceanside during a traffic stop.
Adrian Camacho, a former gang member and drug dealer, was found guilty and is on death row. Camacho shot the rookie officer 13 times.
The officer's wife, Jamie Zeppetella, won a settlement this summer in a wrongful-death lawsuit she filed against the manufacturers of the officer's bullet-resistant vest.
In his memory, his wife formed the Tony W. Zeppetella Memorial Foundation in November. The foundation's goal is to encourage North County youngsters to avoid gangs and drugs. She said the organization will also delve into other charitable acts.
She also said the nonprofit is a way for her and her toddler son Jakob to thank those who helped ease the pain during the most traumatic period of her life.
San Diego Union-Tribune researcher Denise Davidson contributed to this report.