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August 23, 2005

La Mesa police: Deaf man was armed; eluded authorities

From: Press-Enterprise, CA - Aug 23, 2005


A deaf suspect who was shot and killed by Moreno Valley police last week was wanted on a burglary warrant in San Diego County, had eluded La Mesa police the day before the shooting and had indicated he would "violently resist arrest," according to officials.

Lt. Allen White of the La Mesa Police Department said his agency informed Moreno Valley police prior to the shooting that Lance Michael Solomon was hearing impaired, had a felony arrest warrant and was considered armed and dangerous.

"Solomon, who is deaf, has made statements that he will violently resist arrest," according to a news release from the San Diego Sheriff's Department.

Solomon was killed Aug. 19 after he tried to run from authorities and hide in a garbage can in a north Moreno Valley neighborhood.

He was wanted on a warrant for residential burglary and for questioning in other La Mesa burglary cases. At least one of the cases involved stolen firerearms, White said.

"The day before the shooting, he was involved in two pursuits in San Diego County and eluded capture," White said. "During the first (pursuit), my partner and I were almost hit by the vehicle he was driving."

White said he did not know if Solomon intended to hit the officers, but said they did not fire at the suspect because they were in a residential area.

"We had the address of Solomon's friend in Moreno Valley and asked for assistance," White said.

Based on the information received from La Mesa authorities, the Riverside County Sheriff's Department staked out the friend's house on Quapaw Trail on Thursday night, said Riverside County Sheriff's spokesman Sgt. Earl Quinata.

Solomon pulled his car into the driveway of his friend's house about 1:30 p.m. Friday, Quinata said.

During a foot chase, an officer saw the suspect holding a handgun and fired several shots at him after he did not respond to police commands, Quinata said. Solomon then jumped into a garbage can on Duckbill Road.

Solomon grabbed his waistband when police opened the lid, and an officer fired several shots, Quinata said.

Police found a semiautomatic handgun in the garbage can, Quinata said.

"At this time we don't know if it was stolen in La Mesa," he said.

Because of Solomon's criminal history, local authorities considered him a threat, Quinata said.

The two officers involved in the shooting were placed on paid administrative leave.

Reach Sabrina Brummond at or (951) 368-5161

© 2005, The Press-Enterprise Company