Wounded suspect captured after escaping from La Jolla hospital

By City News Service

A probationer who was shot and wounded by a San Diego police sergeant last week when he allegedly pulled a fake handgun on him outside a Mira Mesa strip mall escaped Thursday from the hospital where he was being treated for his bullet wound. He was located several hours later.

Robert McBride Jr., 22, apparently walked out of Scripps Memorial Hospital La Jolla about 5:30 p.m., according to police.

Officers fanned out through the area in search of McBride, who suffered a gunshot wound to the chest in the officer-involved shooting.

McBride was not known to be armed, San Diego Police Department Officer David Stafford said.

It was not immediately clear how he eluded hospital security.

Shortly before 12:30 a.m. Jan. 26, McBride allegedly pulled a realistic replica pistol during a confrontation with SDPD Sgt. Robert Wills in a parking lot outside a CVS pharmacy at Camino Ruiz and Mira Mesa Boulevard. Fearing for his life, Wills, a 21-year department veteran, opened fire, according to police.

Wills had contacted McBride after seeing him and a cohort walking near a row of cars, appearing to possibly be casing them for valuables to burglarize, Lt. Kevin Rooney said.

When Wills asked for some identification, McBride started to hand over his wallet, then ran off through the parking lot.

Wills gave chase for a few moments until McBride stopped, turned around and started to run back towards the officer while also allegedly pulling out what appeared to be a handgun from his waistband and raising it, Rooney said.

The fake gun that McBride allegedly drew on Wills was indistinguishable from a real one at a distance, especially in the dark of night, according to Rooney.

Wills was not injured during the confrontation.

Bride was expected to be booked into county jail on suspicion of exhibiting an imitation firearm in a threatening manner and probation violation upon his recovery.



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