Suspect, 53, shot at end of Hemet high-speed pursuit of stolen vehicle – Two in custody
HEMET, Calif., — Authorities say a dangerous high-speed pursuit of a stolen vehicle turned foot chase in Hemet ended with the driver being shot and the passenger apprehended last night, Thursday, Feb. 10.
Citing the early and ongoing nature of the investigation, officials have not specified what led to the shooting, saying additional details would be released as they became available.
LEADING THE RCNS HEADLINES:
At around 8:30 p.m., a City of Hemet police officer spotted a stolen 2014 Dodge Dart with two adult male occupants being driven in the area of Devonshire Avenue and Kirby Street, Hemet Police Lieutenant Nate Miller later said of the incident and officer-involved shooting.
As the officer was following the stolen vehicle waiting for other officers to arrive and assist with stopping the vehicle, the driver realized he was being followed and attempted to accelerate away from the officer.
When the driver began running stop signs and stop lights in an attempt to get away, the officer initiated a vehicle pursuit.
Residents of the Desert Palms Mobile Home Park in Hemet were jolted from their evening activities when a high-speed pursuit entered and then traveled through their park last night. The chase ended moments later when a gunshot rang out and the stolen vehicle’s driver was shot in the hip by an officer. Eddie George and Laurie Cain/Hemet News photos
Despite the officer’s lights and sirens, the driver of the stolen car continued fleeing and was soon hitting speeds of 75 mph on city and residential neighborhood streets.
The driver, along with his adult male passenger, ultimately led officers through the Desert Palms Mobile Home Park at 1097 N. State Street, where witnesses say they used the stolen vehicle to plow through a fence and into an open field where they attempted to flee from the vehicle on foot.
“An officer-involved shooting took place at the termination point of the pursuit and the 53-year-old suspect driver was hit,” explained Miller. “He was taken into custody after being shot once in the hip and officers immediately began rendering first aid.”
The injured suspect was then transported by ground ambulance to an area hospital for further treatment of his gunshot wound. He sustained non-life-threatening injuries and is expected to recover, according to Miller.
The 36-year-old passenger, who was not injured during this incident and whose name was not released, was also taken into custody at the termination point, the Lieutenant continued, adding that no officers or other citizens were injured as a result of the pursuit and subsequent shooting.
Witnesses who reside at the mobile home park where the pursuit ended later reported hearing a single gunshot and seeing the suspect being treated at the scene before being transported to the hospital.
“As in all cases that involve an officer-involved shooting, several complex and simultaneous investigations are launched,” Miller went on to say. “Independent investigators from the Riverside County Force Investigation Detail, as well as those from the Riverside County District Attorney’s office, and the Hemet Police Department responded to start their investigations.”
“These investigations are just beginning, and the scene is still active as of this release,” he added.
The involved officer, a seven-year veteran, has not yet been publicly identified.
Anyone who may have witnessed the pursuit or shooting and has not yet provided a statement to authorities is urged to contact Hemet Police Sergeant Gabe Gomez at (951) 765-2396 or [email protected]. Callers can remain anonymous.
Contact the writer: [email protected]
Trevor Montgomery, 50, 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.