“This is one of the most difficult and heart-wrenching situations for police officers to go through,” Zimmerman said.
Almost immediately after DeGuzman and Irwin conducted the stop about 11 p.m., they called for “emergency cover,” police said. Other officers rushed to the scene, where they found them suffering from gunshot wounds.
DeGuzman, who was shot numerous times, was transported to a nearby hospital in a patrol car, police said.
“Heroic efforts by the officers on scene, heroic efforts by the doctors to save his life, but heartbroken to report that they were unable to save his life and he is deceased,” Zimmerman told reporters only hours after the incident.
Irwin was taken to a hospital, where he underwent emergency surgery.
Zimmerman said late Friday morning that Irwin was still unconscious but was expected to survive. Once he is awake, she said, police hope he will be able to provide more information.
Following a massive police search into the early morning hours, Zimmerman said police found one suspect in an open ravine not far from the scene. He was transported to a nearby hospital with a gunshot wound and is listed in critical condition, she said.
By Friday morning, Zimmerman said police had surrounded a home where another possible suspect may be holed up.
National Law Enforcement Memorial Fund, which tracks the number of police killed in the line of duty, reported that 32 officers have been shot and killed this year — a 78 percent increase from this time last year.
When asked whether the San Diego shooting was an ambush against the officers, Zimmerman, the police chief, said the circumstances surrounding the brutal attack were still under investigation. She said both officers were wearing body cameras and there is video evidence.
San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer asked people for support and prayers for the police.
“Last night we lost one of San Diego’s finest,” he said in a statement. “We grieve for our fallen officer and stand with his family during this very difficult time. We also pray for the second officer shot last night as he recovers from surgery. Violence against the men and women who wear the badge is violence against us all. I ask all San Diegans and all people across our nation to join together in support of our officers who courageously protect our communities.
“We need them and they need us.”
Zimmerman said DeGuzman is survived by his wife and two children.
She said Irwin also has a wife, who has been by his side all night, and a young child.
Zimmerman said police are not yet publicly identifying the suspect.
This story has been updated.