ESCONDIDO, Calif.—A Vista homicide suspect who led authorities on a lengthy pursuit was killed Dec. 27 in an ensuing gunfight, during which an officer was shot in the chest but saved by his bulletproof vest.
At 5 p.m. on Dec. 26, deputies found the homicide victim, Florencio Rodriguez, 42, with gunshot wounds, on the driveway of his home in the 1300 block of Teelin Avenue, according to the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department.
Rodriguez was pronounced dead at the scene by paramedics.
The suspect wasn’t at the scene, but was later identified as 39-year-old Roberto Cazares Salgado, sheriff’s Lt. Thomas Seiver said.
At about 11:20 p.m. on Dec. 26, an Escondido police officer spotted Salgado in a 2018 Chevrolet Silverado pickup with a female passenger and attempted to pull the vehicle over, prompting a pursuit that lasted six hours, according to Escondido police Lt. Bode Berreth. Authorities made multiple attempts to stop the driver, including the use of spike strips that flattened three of the vehicle’s tires and eventually using OnStar to disable the engine.
The chase passed through Vista and Oceanside before ending in Escondido, where the car came to a stop at Mission Avenue and Gamble Street about 3 a.m. on Dec. 27.
Salgado got out of the vehicle and exchanged gunfire with two Escondido police officers, one of whom was shot in his bullet-proof protected chest, according to Berreth and Seiver. Berreth said the officer was taken to Palomar Medical Center, treated for a gunshot wound to the left side of his chest, and released.
Salgado was shot multiple times and pronounced dead at a hospital, authorities said.
The female passenger in the vehicle with the suspect was uninjured and will be interviewed by authorities. Early incident logs reported the passenger was a “hostage,” but it was unclear whether she was in the vehicle willingly.
Mission Avenue was closed between North Broadway and Fig Street.