SAN DIEGO – The San Diego police officer shot in the head at a San Diego County CU ATM continued to recover Tuesday as police worked to identify a suspect in what might be a countywide crime spree by a cop impersonator.
Officer Les Stewart, 57, suffered a graze wound to the head Monday but was expected to survive. He is hospitalized at Palomar Hospital in Escondido, where he is being monitored for possible bruising to his brain, police said.
Stewart, a 27-year veteran of the force who was set to retire in December, was off duty when the shooting occurred shortly after noon Monday at an ATM kiosk at a credit union branch in Escondido. Stewart had just used the ATM when the gunman confronted him, robbed him and forced the officer to lie on the ground before shooting him.
The robber, who was wearing a black baseball cap that said “police” on it in white letters, stole Stewart’s wallet, cell phone and money.
Escondido detectives are working with San Diego police investigators to determine if the gunman was the same person who staged an armed robbery in Mission Valley earlier on Monday and a carjacking at gunpoint in San Diego’s Oak Park neighborhood in the afternoon. In both incidents, the suspect was wearing clothing that identified him as a police officer.