Sheriff's Deputy James Bennetts testified Monday that Mark Raymond Phelps began firing a submachine gun without provocation and wounded Bennetts as he attempted to hide behind his patrol car in a confrontation July 31 in rural Vista.
Bennetts said he was attempting to arrest Phelps on a no-bail felony warrant charging him with assaulting a deputy when Phelps began firing from his car. Bennetts said he tried to take cover when he heard Phelps reloading.
"I heard my car being hit by fire," he said. "I started to get back down. I felt a solid, blunt hit to the chest."
The testimony came during the first day of Phelps' preliminary hearing before Vista Municipal Court Judge Suzanne Knauf to determine whether he should stand trial on two counts of attempted murder.