Riverside officers & negotiator saved by tree when man tries to ram into them

RIVERSIDE Calif. — Authorities say a Riverside transient on Post Release Community Supervision (PRCS) probation was shot by officers multiple times at the end of a stolen vehicle pursuit Thursday morning, Oct. 8. The shooting happened when the man allegedly attempted to run down two officers and a Crisis Negotiator who were taking cover behind behind a tree while attempting to coax him out of the stolen car he was in.

Refusing to give up to officials, the alleged suspect “accelerated toward the negotiator and the officers, ultimately striking the tree in an attempt to run them down,” officials have since described. The car sustained heavy front-end damage from the impact and the suspect was later transported to an area hospital with several gunshot wounds, according to Riverside Police Department.

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Thursday morning’s incident began shortly before 10 a.m., when the City of Riverside’s Public Safety Communications Center received a 911 call from a person who told emergency dispatchers they were following their stolen, silver Honda Accord in the area of Magnolia and Arlington avenues.

Officers quickly converged on the area and spotted the stolen Honda being driven in the area of Magnolia and Central avenues. The officers saw the car was occupied by a sole adult male, since identified as Jesse Gibson, a 29-year-old transient living in Riverside.

Officers attempted to conduct a traffic stop on the stolen car but Gibson failed to yield and accelerated away from officials, at which time a pursuit was initiated.

Officers opened fire on the driver of a stolen vehicle when the man accelerated toward two officers and a Crisis Negotiator who had been trying to coax the probationer to exit the stolen sedan and surrender to officials. Visyak Photography and News photo

“The suspect continued going west on Magnolia Avenue at moderate speeds, failing to stop at several red lights,” officials described. “Officers deployed spike strips at two different points during the pursuit but they were unsuccessful in stopping the suspect.”

As Gibson continued driving southbound on Van Buren Blvd from Magnolia Ave., officers successfully utilized the Pursuit Intervention Technique, or PIT maneuver, which caused the stolen vehicle to spin around and come to a stop on Van Buren Blvd., just north of Primrose Dr.

Despite being surrounded by officers with weapons drawn, Gibson refused to comply with their commands or to surrender.

“Over the course of the next 50 minutes, officers attempted to de-escalate the suspect into surrendering peacefully, to no avail,” said officials.

Due to the ongoing standoff, additional resources including K-9 and SWAT members were summoned and responded to the scene to assist.

An on-duty officer and member of the department’s Emergency Negotiations Team also responded and began communicating with Gibson, who was still refusing to comply or surrender to officers.

“The Emergency Negotiator was standing near a tree with two officers providing cover while he continued to de-escalate the situation and persuade the suspect into surrendering,” described officials.

Officers, detectives, and other officials survey the scene of an officer involved involved shooting that happened when the driver of a stolen vehicle rammed into a tree where two officers and a Crisis Negotiator were taking cover while trying to convince the man to surrender. Visyak Photography and News photo

“At one point, (Gibson) maneuvered the stolen car around and accelerated toward the negotiator and the officers, ultimately striking the tree in an attempt to run them down,” officials continued; adding that at least one of the involved officers opened fire on the driver, striking him multiple times.

Officers quickly formulated a tactical plan and cautiously approached the wounded driver, taking him into custody without further incident.

“The suspect was treated by paramedics with the Riverside Fire Department for gunshot wounds,” according to officials who said Gibson was then transported to a local hospital in stable condition.

Photographs taken from the scene by Visyak Photography and News showed numerous bullet holes in the car’s front windshield, indicating the vehicle was struck multiple times by officer’s rounds.

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Investigators with the Riverside District Attorney’s Office responded to the scene and assumed the investigation. They were assisted by detectives with the Riverside Police Department’s Robbery – Homicide Unit, along with specialists from the department’s Forensics Unit.

Gibson was treated and then medically cleared before being booked into Robert Presley Detention Center in Riverside on suspicion of attempted murder on a police officer, auto theft, evading police, resisting and obstructing police, and violation of his PRCS probation.

Officials declined to specify how many officers opened fire on the suspect’s stolen vehicle, how many rounds were fired, or how many times Gibson was struck; saying, “This officer involved shooting investigation is still ongoing and there are no further details to release at this time.”

Van Buren was closed in both directions from the 91 freeway to Magnolia for several hours while officials investigated Thursday’s officer involved shooting. Visyak Photography and News photo

Anyone with information regarding this investigation is urged to contact Senior District Attorney Investigator Nick Franco at (951) 955-5506 or NickFranco@RivCoDA.org, or Detective Dan Mercadefe at (951) 353-7103 or DMercadefe@RiversideCA.gov. Those wishing to remain anonymous can email rpdtips@riversideca.gov or utilize the Riverside Police Department’s mobile app “Submit a Tip” feature while referencing report number 200026582.


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Contact the writer: trevor.rcns@gmail.com

Trevor Montgomery, 49, moved in 2017 to the Intermountain area of Shasta County from Riverside County and runs Riverside County News Source and Shasta County News Source. Additionally, he writes or has written for several other news organizations; including Riverside County based newspapers, Valley News, (the now defunct) Valley Chronicle, Anza Valley Outlook, and Hemet & San Jacinto Chronicle; as well as Bonsall/Fallbrook Village News in San Diego County and Mountain Echo in Shasta 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. (Click here to see segment of Discovery Channel documentary of Trevor’s 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 30 years and was a foster parent to more than 60 children over 13 years. He is now an adoptive parent and his “fluid family” includes 13 children and 18 grandchildren.

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