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Trolley shooting preceded by other unnerving acts

Ride in the first car, carry gel spray

"We have over 10,000 cameras in our system.”
"We have over 10,000 cameras in our system.”

On June 4, an unidentified 19-year-old trolley rider was shot and killed by San Diego police, a San Diego County Sheriff's report says.

Just minutes before the deadly shooting that Sunday night, as the trolley arrived at the San Ysidro trolley station, passengers disembarked the MTS Blue Line trolley car, including the man who had a CO2 BB gun resembling an authentic Glock pistol. A pair of police officers arrived at the last trolley stop before the Tijuana border at 9:03 pm, and "The officers gave the suspect several verbal commands to drop what was believed to be a firearm he was holding in his hand," continues the Sheriff's report. Instead, the victim reportedly threatened officers with the BB gun, advanced towards the officers, and "pointed what was believed to be a firearm at them. This prompted one of the officers to fire his department rifle at the suspect, who suffered multiple gunshot wounds." While paramedics were called upon and the officers immediately provided first aid to the injured man, the suspect died.

The recent Sunday morning shooting was the first shooting at the trolley stations in 2023, which ended in the death of a trolley rider.

Two days before the shooting, another trolley rider took to Facebook to explain her and her sibling's ordeal with "four male youths" on the Green Line. The near-24-mile Green Line route goes from Santee, El Cajon, La Mesa, and Mission Valley to downtown San Diego. "My sibling quickly identified the assailant with a knife, who had the knife already in hand but was closed," she posted in part on Facebook. "I quickly went to detain the armed youth, and my sibling disarmed him with the help of a fellow passenger who [witnessed] the assault and managed to pry the knife out." She said the young rider with the knife escaped; then, she made a report with the MTS security guard and the La Mesa and El Cajon police departments. "After being failed by security and [the police], I've decided to come to the media and spread awareness to hope for a more aware and safer community."

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In early March, a 34-year-old man stabbed a 43-year-old male while walking on 3rd Avenue and C Street nearby the trolley tracks, reported mainstream news outlets. Shortly afterward, police officers found the suspect on the trolley and arrested him. No follow-up reports were made divulging if the victim survived.

A Fatima Golden Hill resident took to the internet to report her assault at the Palomar Street trolley station in Chula Vista. "A transient man sat next to me," she explained in part, "[and] tried to speak to me, and then he hit me on the face with a pamphlet. The next day I told a police officer who was at the trolley station, and he told me he couldn’t do anything, just to call the police if I saw him again."

In February, news outlets reported that a 74-year-old man was assaulted at a Mission Valley trolley station while he and his wife were heading to an Aztec basketball game. CBS 8 added that the man, who requested anonymity, sustained a broken jaw and said doctors found brain bleeds when checked into the hospital.

Then, MTS's CEO, Sharon Cooney, invited the CBS 8 news crew to see the inside of MTS's security command center. "We have cameras everywhere in our stations, on our vehicles — bus and rail," Cooney explained. "We have over 10,000 cameras in our system,” Cooney added that crews monitor surveillance cameras 24-7, and there are six to nine cameras mounted inside and outside on each trolley car and more mounted all around trolley stations.

Rick D. has been monitoring the newscasts regarding the trolley, as he's been riding the trolley since the 1980s. "The trolley has its crazy moments at times, although I wouldn't say if the trolley is worse than last year," he said in a recent interview. "Recently, someone got mad at me when I was getting off the trolley thinking I was looking at him, but I was not looking at him at all."

Does he feel safe on the trolley?

"Yes," he responded, "and if I ever felt unsafe, I'd push the emergency button and tell the driver."

Rick rides the trolley almost daily. "I don't mind the crazy people on the trolley," he continued. "I ignore them. I'm on the first car the driver's on, not on the second or third car where there have been crazy people."

Rick also has his phone on speed dial to call 619 595-4960, which is a direct line to MTS's security, or he can text photos and videos to MTS at 619 318-1338 if he feels like he's in danger.

San Diego MTS has about 200 security cops, patrol stations, and some cops ride the trolley to keep an eye out. But there are not always guards at every station, Rick adds.

"Every team member of our department goes through a variety of training programs, including training and de-escalation, anti-biased policing, Narcan, mental health first aid, and psychiatric emergency response." Yohaney Adiboye, a code compliance supervisor at MTS, said in a YouTube video.

The MTS trolley staff is making its rounds on Reddit discussions. Underneath a posted story on Reddit of the above-mentioned basketball fan who was assaulted — BlooomQueen recommended packing "gel pepper spray, and don’t be scared to use it if some asshole charges towards you... The gel spray will stick to their eyes and skin better and won’t blowback as much. Better to be judged by 12 than carried by six."

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"We have over 10,000 cameras in our system.”
"We have over 10,000 cameras in our system.”

On June 4, an unidentified 19-year-old trolley rider was shot and killed by San Diego police, a San Diego County Sheriff's report says.

Just minutes before the deadly shooting that Sunday night, as the trolley arrived at the San Ysidro trolley station, passengers disembarked the MTS Blue Line trolley car, including the man who had a CO2 BB gun resembling an authentic Glock pistol. A pair of police officers arrived at the last trolley stop before the Tijuana border at 9:03 pm, and "The officers gave the suspect several verbal commands to drop what was believed to be a firearm he was holding in his hand," continues the Sheriff's report. Instead, the victim reportedly threatened officers with the BB gun, advanced towards the officers, and "pointed what was believed to be a firearm at them. This prompted one of the officers to fire his department rifle at the suspect, who suffered multiple gunshot wounds." While paramedics were called upon and the officers immediately provided first aid to the injured man, the suspect died.

The recent Sunday morning shooting was the first shooting at the trolley stations in 2023, which ended in the death of a trolley rider.

Two days before the shooting, another trolley rider took to Facebook to explain her and her sibling's ordeal with "four male youths" on the Green Line. The near-24-mile Green Line route goes from Santee, El Cajon, La Mesa, and Mission Valley to downtown San Diego. "My sibling quickly identified the assailant with a knife, who had the knife already in hand but was closed," she posted in part on Facebook. "I quickly went to detain the armed youth, and my sibling disarmed him with the help of a fellow passenger who [witnessed] the assault and managed to pry the knife out." She said the young rider with the knife escaped; then, she made a report with the MTS security guard and the La Mesa and El Cajon police departments. "After being failed by security and [the police], I've decided to come to the media and spread awareness to hope for a more aware and safer community."

Sponsored
Sponsored

In early March, a 34-year-old man stabbed a 43-year-old male while walking on 3rd Avenue and C Street nearby the trolley tracks, reported mainstream news outlets. Shortly afterward, police officers found the suspect on the trolley and arrested him. No follow-up reports were made divulging if the victim survived.

A Fatima Golden Hill resident took to the internet to report her assault at the Palomar Street trolley station in Chula Vista. "A transient man sat next to me," she explained in part, "[and] tried to speak to me, and then he hit me on the face with a pamphlet. The next day I told a police officer who was at the trolley station, and he told me he couldn’t do anything, just to call the police if I saw him again."

In February, news outlets reported that a 74-year-old man was assaulted at a Mission Valley trolley station while he and his wife were heading to an Aztec basketball game. CBS 8 added that the man, who requested anonymity, sustained a broken jaw and said doctors found brain bleeds when checked into the hospital.

Then, MTS's CEO, Sharon Cooney, invited the CBS 8 news crew to see the inside of MTS's security command center. "We have cameras everywhere in our stations, on our vehicles — bus and rail," Cooney explained. "We have over 10,000 cameras in our system,” Cooney added that crews monitor surveillance cameras 24-7, and there are six to nine cameras mounted inside and outside on each trolley car and more mounted all around trolley stations.

Rick D. has been monitoring the newscasts regarding the trolley, as he's been riding the trolley since the 1980s. "The trolley has its crazy moments at times, although I wouldn't say if the trolley is worse than last year," he said in a recent interview. "Recently, someone got mad at me when I was getting off the trolley thinking I was looking at him, but I was not looking at him at all."

Does he feel safe on the trolley?

"Yes," he responded, "and if I ever felt unsafe, I'd push the emergency button and tell the driver."

Rick rides the trolley almost daily. "I don't mind the crazy people on the trolley," he continued. "I ignore them. I'm on the first car the driver's on, not on the second or third car where there have been crazy people."

Rick also has his phone on speed dial to call 619 595-4960, which is a direct line to MTS's security, or he can text photos and videos to MTS at 619 318-1338 if he feels like he's in danger.

San Diego MTS has about 200 security cops, patrol stations, and some cops ride the trolley to keep an eye out. But there are not always guards at every station, Rick adds.

"Every team member of our department goes through a variety of training programs, including training and de-escalation, anti-biased policing, Narcan, mental health first aid, and psychiatric emergency response." Yohaney Adiboye, a code compliance supervisor at MTS, said in a YouTube video.

The MTS trolley staff is making its rounds on Reddit discussions. Underneath a posted story on Reddit of the above-mentioned basketball fan who was assaulted — BlooomQueen recommended packing "gel pepper spray, and don’t be scared to use it if some asshole charges towards you... The gel spray will stick to their eyes and skin better and won’t blowback as much. Better to be judged by 12 than carried by six."

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