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Man who shot officer who chased him into drainage tunnel claiming self defense

33-year-old Ignacio Canela.  Image Credit: AP
33-year-old Ignacio Canela. Image Credit: AP

A California man who tried to kill a police officer while trying to escape the law is now standing trial.

According to ABC 10,

has been charged with premeditated attempted murder, evading police and other counts resulting from an incident back in October of 2013 that resulted in the shooting and injury of San Diego Police Officer Timothy Bell.

“He (Canela) was trying to kill him,” said Deputy District Attorney Michael Runyon, telling jurors the lives of the defendant and officer intersected with “tragic consequences, almost lethal consequences.”

Wanted on drug charges and failure to appear in court, Canela led officers on a vehicle chase before dismounting his vehicle, fleeing into a canyon on foot.

Officer Bell pursued Canela, chasing him into a drainage tunnel while attempting to subdue Canela with his less-than-lethal Taser. When the confrontation became a physical struggle, Canela told the officer “I give up.” When Officer Bell tried to push Canela away, Canela opened fire, hitting Bell four times as both men tried to flee one another. Canela would be arrested half an hour later, with a firearm being recovered on scene.

Canela has a history of running from police, starting in 2004 when he ran from police and again when he fled the law using a stolen vehicle, being armed both times. Attempting to justify the behavior to the jury, Canela said he ran because -in his words- “I don’t like pigs.”

Defense attorney Jane Kinsey told the jury that Canela shot Bell in self-defense, claiming that Canela’s state of mind was that of “kill or be killed” when confronted and tased by the officer.

Canela -no stranger to prison due to his long list of burglary and other charges from 2004 onward- faces 40 years to life in prison if he is convicted.

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