June 4, 2018 / 4:15 AM / 16 days ago

Woman armed with pellet gun prompts brief shutdown of San Diego marathon

(Reuters) - A woman wielding a pellet gun prompted police to briefly shut down San Diego’s Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon on Sunday and halt thousands of runners before she was taken into custody, officials said.

The woman, identified by police as Mona Elease Williams, 58, had not targeted the marathon and the incident was in no way connected to the race, San Diego police chief David Nisleit told a news briefing.

The incident, in which a pursuing police officer shot himself in the leg, ended after about 30 minutes, and the marathon soon resumed, Nisleit said.

Even so, about 4,000 race participants were asked to stop running while police sought Williams.

The series of events began late on Sunday morning with a report to an officer working the marathon that a driver had fled the scene of a hit-and-run accident in San Diego. Police attempted to pursue her but backed off and called for help when she brandished what appeared to be a gun at them.

A team was formed to chase her, but one officer was wounded when his gun accidentally went off, police said. Officers eventually chased her into a parking lot, where she surrendered.

Reporting by Sharon Bernstein in Sacramento, Calif.; Editing by Peter Cooney

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