SAN DIEGO — A city police officer remained unconscious and in critical condition Saturday night with a bullet wound to the head as detectives questioned a suspect arrested in connection with the shooting early Saturday.
Officer Jerry Hartless, 24, of San Diego, underwent several hours of surgery at the UC San Diego Medical Center after being gunned down about 12:20 a.m. as he chased a group of men in an area of Southeast San Diego said by police to be a known area for drug dealing.
Officers from the homicide division booked Stacy Butler, 24, of 5041 Solola St., San Diego, into the county jail on one count of attempted murder. A jail spokeswoman said no bail was set because Butler was on parole for a previous crime.
Police spokeswoman Sgt. Anne O'Dell said Hartless and his partner, Johan Schneider, stopped shortly after midnight to question a group of men at Ocean View Boulevard and Ozark Street.
"When they got out of the car, the group split up and ran in opposite directions, and the two officers split up to chase each group," O'Dell said. Schneider lost his group during the pursuit and returned to the patrol car to try to find Hartless, O'Dell said.
"It was just about that time that he heard a single gunshot," O'Dell said. Schneider found Hartless in a cul-de-sac six blocks away.