Lake Elsinore, CA - A male suspect who opened fire on a California Highway Patrol Officer during a traffic stop, fled from police, and was involved in a shootout with police officers, was shot and killed.
According to The Press Enterprise, the incident began on Wednesday at about 8:50 PM. A California Highway Patrol Officer stopped a vehicle with a male driver who was believed to be under the influence of alcohol on southbound 15 near Indian Truck Trail. The male driver initially pulled over but became uncooperative, making threats, and furtive movements while in his vehicle, according to CHP Officer Dan Olivas.
The California Highway Patrol Officer took cover behind a freeway barrier as the male suspect got out of his vehicle, and began firing at the Officer's vehicle, which was eventually disabled by the gunfire. A nearby CHP Officer responded to assist and the suspect fled. The second CHP Officer began pursuing the suspect, who continued firing "repeatedly."
The pursuit continued and the Riverside County Sheriff's Department responded to assist, sending Deputies and a helicopter. The suspect continued to fire at other Officers and also at the Sheriff's Department helicopter. The suspect, who was driving a Ford F150 truck, then exited the highway at Railway Canyon Road and began driving through city streets until he reached a residential neighborhood, Tuscany Hills.
The male suspect then stopped and got out of his vehicle around 10 PM near the intersection of Villa Roma and Via Palmieki Court. He fired at responding Deputies with a rifle, and Deputies fired back for the first time. The male suspect attempted to break into a nearby home and fired shots into a home. The SWAT team arrived and the male suspect fired shots at them. The SWAT team fired back and during the shootout the man was shot and killed. He was pronounced dead at the scene.
No CHP Officers, Riverside Sheriff's Deputies or civilians were injured during the incident. The suspect's name has not yet been released.
All officers involved in the shooting were placed on administrative leave, which is standard procedure. Their names were not released. The officer-involved-shooting investigation is being conducted by the Riverside County Sheriff's Department. The southbound 15 highway was closed overnight Wednesday into Thursday but has since re-opened. The area around the incident was closed to everyone but residents.
Thanks to the initial officer's situational awareness, he was able to survive this attack. We're glad that no officers were hurt by this rampage.
Do you think that California's gun control efforts may prevent more incidents like this? Please let us know in the comments below.