Two officers made the stop just before 11 p.m. in the 3800 block of Boston Avenue and immediately made a call for emergency cover, according to authorities. At some point, a shooting occurred and both officers were hit.
Other officers quickly responded to the scene and found the two officers suffering from gunshot wounds. A male suspect, who was also shot, was taken into custody after being found in a nearby open ravine area. It was unclear if there were more suspects.
The San Diego Police Department tweeted that Chief Shelley Zimmerman left the hospital where the second officer was in emergency surgery. It said the officer was expected to survive.
It is with a very sad heart that we announce the death of one of our Officers tonight. Pray for his family pic.twitter.com/3l9PXa1vuW— San Diego Police (@SanDiegoPD) July 29, 2016
Both officers were shot multiple times in the upper body during the firefight and were part of the department's gang unit.
It was unclear what led up to the shooting or if the officers were targeted. The shooting comes with law officers around the country on alert following the killing of officers in Dallas and Baton Rouge, Louisiana, this month.
No further information was immediately available.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.