Armed road rage incident leads to fatal Indian Wells deputy-involved shooting

INDIAN WELLS, Calif. — A handgun-wielding man who reportedly threatened to kill another driver after getting into an argument in La Quinta, was later fatally shot after pointing his weapon at deputies a few blocks away earlier this morning, Monday, February 15.

The fatal shooting, which happened outside the gates of the Desert Horizons Country Club in Indian Wells, was captured on the deputies’ body-worn cameras and have been collected as evidence in the deadly encounter.

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Today’s incident began around 7:25 a.m., when the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department received a call regarding a man seen brandishing a firearm during a road rage-related incident in the area of Simon Drive and Highway 111, in La Quinta, according to Riverside Sheriff’s Sergeant Lionel Murphy.

“Dispatch received information that an adult male suspect displayed a handgun at the victim and threatened to kill the victim,” explained Murphy.

This morning’s deadly deputy-involved shooting happened when a man pointed a handgun at them after first getting involved in a heated argument with another driver. During that incident, which happened in nearby La Quinta, the man reportedly pointed his handgun at another driver and threatened to kill him. KESQ News Channel 3 photo

Riverside County Sheriff Chad Bianco later told KESQ News Channel 3 that the incident started when the now-deceased gunman got involved in a heated argument with another driver, threatening to kill him.

“Two drivers of vehicles engaged in some kind of argument,” Bianco explained. “One of the drivers exited his vehicle and approached the second driver with a handgun pointed it at the driver and asked him if he wanted to die.”

After the violent confrontation, the gun-wielding suspect was last seen traveling westbound from the area on Highway 111 in a black Mercedes-Benz.

A deputy from the Palm Desert Sheriff’s Station soon spotted the Mercedes near the intersection of Desert Horizons and Highway 111, and deputies initiated a traffic stop as the suspect neared the gates of the Desert Horizons Country Club.

“The vehicle came to a stop and the suspect exited the vehicle,” Murphy described.

“The suspect was in possession of a handgun and pointed it at the deputies,” the Sergeant continued. “At that time, a deputy-involved shooting occurred.”

Although life-saving measures were performed first by deputies and then paramedics, the suspect succumbed to his injuries and was pronounced deceased.

A handgun was located at the scene and later recovered as evidence.

Deputies and other officials are seen processing the area of this morning’s fatal deputy-involved shooting. KESQ News Channel 3 photo

KESQ has reported that authorities said the man told security at the country club’s gate that police were following him just moments before the deadly shooting occurred.

“He was able to get inside the country club,” KESQ described; adding, “Deputies followed the man inside.”

“That’s when the man then got out of his car and took out his gun and two deputies shot the man,” KESQ continued.

No others were injured during this incident and the suspect’s name has not been released pending further investigation and notification of the man’s family.

The involved deputies have been placed on administrative leave per Department policy and their names were not released.

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An Investigator from the Riverside County District Attorney’s Office is leading the shooting investigation, with assistance from the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department Force Investigations Detail and Sheriff’s Central Homicide Unit.

Their investigation is active and ongoing.

Anyone with information regarding this incident is encouraged to contact D.A. Investigator Dusek at (760) 863-8216 or Investigator Moody at (760) 393-3525. Callers can refer to incident file number LA210460005 and can remain anonymous.

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


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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 (RCNS) and Shasta County News Source (SCNS).

Additionally, he writes or has written for several other news organizations; including Riverside County-based newspapers Valley News, Valley Chronicle, Anza Valley Outlook, and Hemet & San Jacinto Chronicle; the Bonsall/Fallbrook Village News in San Diego County; and Mountain Echo in Shasta County. He is also a regular contributor to Thin Blue Line TV and Law Enforcement News Network and has had his stories featured on news stations throughout the Southern California and North State regions.

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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