A man acting erratically outside a Palm Springs Rite Aid was wounded in an officer-involved shooting Friday, resulting from a physical struggle that also wounded an officer.
It happened just after 1:30 p.m. in the parking lot of the Rite Aid at 366 S. Palm Canyon Drive, according to Sgt. William Hutchinson.
Palm Springs police received several 911 calls regarding the man, with reports suggesting that he might have been armed, Hutchinson said. Callers reported that the man was making threatening statements, racial and homophobic slurs, and was seen urinating in public and exposing himself, according to PSPD Chief Bryan Reyes, who spoke with reporters at a late afternoon press conference.
Two uniformed officers who tried to detain the man got into a struggle while trying to take him into custody, resulting in shots fired.
Hutchinson said he did not know if the reports indicating the man was armed turned out to be true. Reyes said it would be “inappropriate” for him to comment on the suspected weapon, as the investigation was in the hands of the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department.
The suspect was taken to a local hospital for treatment of his injuries. His condition was unknown.
One officer was injured when the struggle to detain the suspect brought the trio to the ground. Reyes declined to comment on the extent of the officer’s injuries. The other officer involved “seems to be doing fine,” Reyes said.
The shooting comes less than a month after the Oct, 8 shooting deaths of Palm Springs police officers Jose “Gilbert” Vega and Lesley Zerebny.
Vega, 63, and Zerebny, 27, were gunned down as they responded to a family disturbance call at a Palm Springs residence. A third officer was wounded in the gunfire.
The alleged killer, 26-year-old John Hernandez Felix, is in custody, facing charges of murder, attempted murder and numerous firearm-related felonies.
Felix is next due in court Thursday at the Larson Justice Center in Indio.
— City News Service
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