April 13, 2011 (San Diego’s East County) – Craig Peterson, 52, was shot and killed this afternoon by a San Diego Sheriff’s sergeant at a rest stop near Interstate 8 and Highway 79. Peterson was a “person of interest” in the stabbing death this morning of a 72-year-old man in Borrego Springs.
Deputies from the Borrego Springs station received a call at 7 a.m. reporting a stabbing at 2162 Borrego Hills Road. Upon arrival, deputies found a while male adult with trauma to his upper body. Paramedics and deputies rendered first aid, but the victim was pronounced dead at the scene, Sergeant Roy Frank with the Sheriff’s homicide detail reports.
According to the San Diego Union-Tribune, the stabbing victim was George Mendenhall, a “snowbird” and businessman who also owned a home in Oregon. A woman in Mendenhall’s family found the victim in the garage and called authorities, the newspaper indicates, citing confirmation from Sergeant Roy Frank. According to the report, the victim and suspect had been friends and the female family member gave Peterson’s name to authorities.
Investigators from the Sheriff’s Homicide Detail were dispatched to the scene and took over the investigation with the assistance of the California Department of Justice, United States Border Patrol and Naval Criminal Intelligence Service. Detectives identified Peterson as a person of interest. His information and a description of his vehicle were broadcast to allied law enforcement agencies.
Just before 1:00 p.m., a Sergeant with the San Diego Sheriff’s Department located the suspect vehicle parked in the rest stop near Interstate 8 and Highway 79. As the Sergeant approached the light-blue truck, he noticed a male subject in the bed of the truck. The male grabbed an object within the truck bed that appeared to be a firearm. The Sergeant fired his duty weapon, striking the suspect in the upper body. Paramedics responded to the scene and assisted with life saving measures. Shortly thereafter the suspect was pronounced deceased. The Sergeant was not injured.
ECM news partner 10 News has video taken at the scene: http://www.10news.com/news/27534748/detail.html According to 10 News, the weapon wielded by Peterson, a contractor, may have been a nail gun.
Anyone with information about this incident is asked to call the Homicide Detail at (858) 974-2321/after hours at (858) 565-5200 or Crime Stoppers at (888) 580-TIPS(8477).