SAN DIEGO, Calif., May 18 -- A man broke into a National Guard armory Wednesday, stole an M-60 tank and drove it into a residential area, downing power lines, fire hydrants and 40 vehicles before police shot and killed him. Shawn Nelson, 34, apparently died of the gunshot wound, said Chuck Bolton, an investigator with the San Diego medical examiner's office.
Police said no one else was hurt in the incident. 'He got into our National Guard armory and found a tank, got into it and started it up and drove through the fence,' said Sgt. Rod Vandiver. 'Then he proceded to drive around a residential area, rolling over cars and trucks, knocking down fire hydrants and just making a mess.' One woman was trapped in her car when Nelson, a former Army tank commander, ran over the front of the vehicle. 'She was scared, she was plenty scared,' said Vandiver. 'He ran over the front of her van and came close to her, but she wasn't injured. ' Nelson then drove onto a nearby freeway, made a sudden left turn and got the tank hung up on a concrete dividing strip in the middle of the highway. Police surrounded the tank and two of the officers, who had previous experience with M-60 tanks, climbed aboard and pried open the hatch. 'He was spinning the tank around, back and forth, trying to shake the officers off,' said Vandiver. 'As he tried to dislodge them, one of them shot him.' Police said Vandiver suffered a single gunshot wound to the neck. There was no immediate word on what motivated the incident.