SAN DIEGO — Moviegoers at a San Diego theater ducked for cover as police stormed in during a movie and shot and wounded an armed domestic violence suspect pretending to be a patron.
The lights came on suddenly during a Saturday matinee screening of ‘‘Les Miserables’’ at Reading Cinemas Carmel Mountain in northern San Diego and two officers who had been going through the theaters in the multiscreen complex spotted their suspect among the approximately 15 moviegoers.
Most of the patrons quickly hit the floor and started inching toward exits, police and witnesses said.
The suspect, Tom Billodeaux of Escondido, 20, at first obeyed the officer who approached him and put his empty hands up, but then ‘‘lowered them into his lap . . . raised a handgun, and turned it toward the officer,’’ police said in a statement.
That officer, who has been with the department for about 18 months, shot Billodeaux in the chest and arm, police said.
No one else, including the domestic violence victim in the initial incident, was hurt, police Lieutenant Ernie Herbert said.
Billodeaux was at a hospital Sunday morning and is expected to survive the shooting. He will be booked into county jail on his release, police said.
Contact information could not be found for Billodeaux.
He became the target of an intense police search after witnesses reported seeing him get into a fight with his girlfriend at her workplace across the street from the shopping plaza where the theater complex is located, police said.