UPDATED: HEMET: Officials investigating officer-involved shooting at busy Target shopping center

UPDATED: Saturday, Oct. 28, 11:55 p.m.

HEMET — City of Hemet police officials have provided additional information regarding an officer-involved shooting that happened Saturday evening, Oct. 28. The shooting happened in the Target shopping center parking lot at 3527 W. Florida Avenue.

City of Hemet police officials discuss the circumstances of the officer-involved shooting. John Strangis photo

As the investigation was still underway and in its early stages, Hemet Police Lt. Glen Brock explained from the scene that officers responded to the shopping center, shortly before 7 p.m., regarding reports of a domestic dispute at the location.

“When officers arrived they contacted a subject they believed had been involved in the incident,” Brock explained. “Shortly after contacting that subject an officer-involved shooting occurred involving two Hemet Police Department officers.”

“The subject did sustain gunshot wounds as a result,” said Brock, who did not specify how many times the man was shot or provide any details regarding the nature or extent of the man’s injuries.

The involved officers’ immediately started first aid and requested medical aid to the scene, according to Brock.

When firefighters and paramedics arrived, they transported the suspect to a local area hospital where he is receiving treatment for his wounds.

“Obviously, this is an active, ongoing investigation, Brock continued, saying “We don’t have any further details to release at this time but as more information becomes available we will be sharing it.”


HEMET — Details are still emerging, but officials are investigating after one or more officers shot a man who was reportedly armed with a knife, early Saturday evening, Oct. 28. The shooting happened in the Target shopping center parking lot at 3527 W. Florida Avenue.

Hemet police officers rushed to the scene after the officer involved shooting. Robert Carter/Public Safety Incident photo

The shopping center, which was packed with families shopping for Halloween candy and costumes, is southwest of the intersection of Sanderson and Florida Avenues in Hemet.

According to witnesses, between four and eight gun shots rang out in the middle of the parking lot, shortly before 7 p.m.

The shooting reportedly happened after at least one Hemet police officer confronted a combative man who was armed with a knife and refusing to obey the officer’s orders to drop the weapon.

Official radio traffic at the time indicated an officer had responded to the shopping center parking lot after receiving reports of a disturbance between a man and woman. Callers told emergency dispatchers the woman had at least one small child with her.

Shortly after the first officer arrived at the scene he put out a priority call for assistance and advised emergency dispatchers and other responding officers he had located and confronted the allegedly knife-wielding man. The officer advised the man was combative and not listening to orders to drop the weapon.

Moments later the officer advised he had just been involved in a shooting and requested emergency back-up as well as medical personnel to respond to the scene.

The man, who witnesses say was struck by at least one of the fired rounds, was treated at the scene and later rushed by ground ambulance to an area hospital. It was not immediately known how many times the man was shot or what his current status is.

Fire officials and paramedics treated the man after he was shot by a Hemet police officer. AMR medics rushed the man to an area hospital with at least one gunshot wound. Robert Carter/Public Safety Incident photo

Within moments witnesses described first hearing and then seeing a stream of police vehicles with their lights flashing and sirens wailing as officers from around the city responded to the shooting.

After the shooting and as the investigation got under way, a woman was seen with a small child being interviewed by an officer at the scene. As the man was being taken to a waiting ambulance, he could be heard shouting towards the woman that he loved her.

The man’s identity has not yet been confirmed and the relationship between the two is not yet known.

After the man was taken to a hospital for further evaluation and treatment, medical debris was seen strewn about the parking lot where the man fell to the ground after being shot. Paramedics and firefighters had not yet begun to clean or collect the items, pending authorization from the police department to do so.

Shortly after the man was taken away by ambulance, Hemet PD brought the department’s mobile command center to the parking lot and established a large crime scene at the center.

Many people who had been shopping when the shooting happened were left stuck at the shopping center, blocked in by crime scene tape, and they were unable to leave the location until they were interviewed as potential witnesses by authorities.

A Facebook post made by the man before the officer involved shooting indicated the man who was shot might have intended to cause harm to himself.

Some witnesses who said they saw the incident stated the man was possibly holding the knife to a woman with a child and others said it appeared that the man might have attempted to purposely get himself shot by the officer in what officials call a “suicide by cop;” however, officials have not yet verified any facts or made any statements regarding the officer-involved shooting.

After the incident a check of the alleged knife-wielding man’s Facebook revealed he might have intended to become involved in a fatal incident with law enforcement officers and friends of the man said he had been depressed for some time.

In a post the man made shortly before he was shot, he posted, “I love everyone so Much kiss my babies for me. I (sic) sorry.”

At least one bullet entered the Target store and was later found embedded in a wall of the employee’s break room.

No officers or other citizens were believed to have been injured during the incident.

A request to Hemet police officials for information has not yet been answered.

This is a developing story that will be updated as additional information becomes available.

Click any image to open full-size gallery.

This is a developing story that will be updated as additional information becomes available.

Eddie George & John Strangis/Hemet News video

Robert Carter/Public Safety Incidents video

Suzanne Briggs video


Contact the writer: trevor.rcns@gmail.com

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Trevor Montgomery, who recently moved from Riverside County to Shasta County, runs Riverside County News Source and Shasta County News Source. Additionally, he writes for Riverside County based newspapers Valley News, The Valley Chronicle and Anza Valley Outlook as well as Bonsall/Fallbrook Village News in San Diego County.

Trevor spent 10 years in the U.S. Army as an Orthopedic Specialist before joining the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department in 1998. He was medically retired after losing his leg, breaking his back and suffering both spinal cord and brain injuries in an off-duty accident.

During his time with the sheriff’s department, Trevor worked at several different stations, including Robert Presley Detention Center, Southwest Station in Temecula, Hemet/Valle Vista Station, Ben Clark Public Safety Training Center and Lake Elsinore Station, along with other locations.

Trevor’s assignments included Corrections, Patrol, DUI Enforcement, Boat and Personal Water-Craft based Lake Patrol, Off-Road Vehicle Enforcement, Problem Oriented Policing Team and Personnel/Background Investigations. He finished his career while working as a Sex Crimes and Child Abuse Investigator and was a court-designated expert in child abuse and child sex-related crimes.

Trevor has been married for more than 27 years and was a foster parent to more than 60 children over 13 years. He is now an adoptive parent and has 13 children and 14 grandchildren.