FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE January 27, 2014
POINT OF CONTACT: Lieutenant Neal Griffin, 760-839-4444
The suspect who was shot and killed after leading San Diego Police on a twenty-five mile pursuit has been identified as Aaron Devenere, 27, of San Diego. Devenere was shot after he claimed to be armed with a handgun as well as an explosive device, and he threatened the life of the woman driving the vehicle who he identified as a “hostage.”
The investigation conducted by Detectives of the Escondido Police has now determined that there was a relationship between the victim and Devenere and that, initially, she was willingly driving the truck with Devenere as a passenger. But when a San Diego Police Officer attempted to stop her for expired registration, it was then that Devenere forced her to flee. The driver, who at that point became a victim and a hostage, was convinced that Devenere was armed with a handgun and she fled from the police out of fear that Devenere might harm her. Throughout the pursuit she remained under duress and in fear. The victim said that Devenere had an object pushed against her side that she was certain was a gun. In order to control her movements, Devenere grabbed the victim by the hand and threatened to “break her fingers.” The victim did in fact sustain a sprain to one of her fingers from the suspect’s actions.
The vehicle eventually became inoperable and the victim had no option but to pull the truck to the side of the road. The victim said a few moments later she heard a shot and she initially thought Devenere had shot himself, indicating how convincingly he had feigned to be armed.
Throughout the pursuit, Devenere remained engaged in a conversation with dispatchers from the California Highway Patrol as well as the San Diego Police Department. Devenere claimed that he was armed with a gun, an explosive device and that the driver was a hostage who he threatened to shoot. All of this information was relayed to the officers involved in the pursuit. During the conversation Devenere said things such as, “I have this girl…I told her not to pull over… I have a gun in the car that am I pointing at her.”
A dispatcher asked Devenere, “Sir, you are holding a gun?” to which he replied, “Yes, I’m holding a gun and I have an explosive device strapped underneath my blue thing-”
When the victim brought the car to a stop along the side of the road, officers on scene believed the victim was an imminent danger of being killed. One officer fired one shot, striking and killing Devenere. The victim did not sustain any injuries as a result of the action of the officers on scene.
A thorough search of the vehicle after the incident determined that there were no firearms or explosive devices inside the vehicle. A number of knives were recovered from the bed of the pick-up truck.
The female hostage was rescued. She was transported to Palomar Medical Center for injuries that were inflicted by Devenere. The Escondido Police Department considers her the victim of a kidnapping.
The Escondido Police Department continues as the lead agency conducting the investigation. The San Diego Police Department has cooperated by providing tapes of the 9-1-1 call made by Devenere and the radio traffic during the pursuit. The investigation is continuing.
At 4:00 PM, today, January 27th a portion of the 9-1-1 tape will be released to the media at Escondido Police and Fire Headquarters.