SAN DIEGO -- Police shot and critically wounded a man Saturday suspected of chasing his girlfriend with a handgun across a shopping mall parking lot before ducking into a crowded movie theater where officers confronted him.
The shooting occurred inside the Reading Cinemas theater in northern San Diego around 3:50 p.m., and no moviegoers or officers were hurt, Officer David Stafford said.
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He said officers went to an outdoor shopping center, where the theater is located, in response to a domestic violence call. No other details were immediately released.
A San Diego Fire-Rescue Department dispatcher said the suspect was taken to a hospital with life-threatening injuries.
The owner of a business next to the theater said officers told him the armed man chased his girlfriend across a parking lot. Steve Krongard, the owner of the Nickel City arcade, said police shut down the lot, checked every car leaving the mall and went from businesses to business to look for the suspect until they found him in the theater.
"There were 20 police cars blocking the entrance, then the firetruck and the ambulance rushed in," Krongard said. "Then we saw seven cops with what looked like rifles, then paramedics went into the theater."
The San Diego newspaper reports the shooting occurred during a screening of "Les Miserables." Witnesses were evacuated from the theater.
Adrian Amante, the owner of the Home Trends store, told the newspaper people started running out of the theater and hiding behind cars.
A moviegoer told KGTV the lights suddenly went on during the film and two officers came into the theater with their guns drawn.
It was the second shooting at a San Diego County movie theater in as many days.
A concession worker suffered an arm injury when a shot fired outside a San Marcos movie theater went through the lobby window and struck her, sheriff's officials said.
The shooting occurred during a fight in the parking lot at Edwards San Marcos Stadium 18 and triggered a large police response because authorities were initially not sure whether there was a shooter inside the Cineplex.
No arrests have been reported after San Marcos shooting.