Officer Shoots Unarmed Woman But SDPD Has No Info So Far On What Happened

Mother, 8-year-old son shot by off-duty officer in road-rage case

By Debbi Farr Baker
and Matthew Rodriguez
6:39 p.m. March 17, 2008
OCEANSIDE – A woman and her young son were recovering Monday after being shot by an off-duty San Diego police officer in what authorities said was prompted by a road-rage incident.

The officer, Frank White, 28, has been with the San Diego Police Department since October 2005, an Oceanside police spokesman said. White is on routine administrative leave with pay while the incident is investigated.

The shooting occurred about 9:15 p.m. Saturday night in the parking lot of Lowe’s home improvement store on Old Grove Road near state Route 76, Oceanside police said.

The woman, who is in her 20s, and her 8-year-old son were flown to Sharp Memorial Hospital and to Rady Children’s Hospital.

The incident began, police said, when one of the drivers cut the other one off.

“There was some type of right-of-way violation by one party or the other,” Oceanside police Sgt. Kelan Poorman said Monday. He said one of the drivers then apparently followed the other into the parking lot.

It was not clear Monday why the officer fired at the woman’s vehicle. Poorman said White’s wife was with him in the vehicle.

Poorman said he didn’t know if there had been contact between the cars. He also declined to say what type of weapon White had used or how many shots he had fired. The woman was unarmed.

Oceanside police were told that White identified himself as a San Diego police officer at one point during the confrontation, Poorman said.

Police interviewed White on Saturday night and spoke with the woman’s 8-year-old son Monday.

“We’re waiting to talk to the mother so we can put the pieces of the puzzle together,” Poorman said. He said investigators were seeking permission from the woman’s doctors to speak with her.

Poorman said the officer was interviewed at the Oceanside police station with his attorney, a peer support officer and his supervisor.

The Lowe’s store, just south of Route 76, is in a shopping center along with a Ralphs grocery store, a San Diego National Bank branch, a McDonald’s, and several other stores.

Investigators are also still talking with witnesses, Poorman said.

Once they have more information they will determine what, if any charges should be filed, Poorman said. No one has been arrested.

No additional information has been released about the shooting. San Diego Police Chief William Lansdowne said his department would look at the investigation once it’s completed to determine if the officer violated any policies.

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