One California Highway Patrol officer was killed and two were wounded Monday during an exchange of gunfire in the south end of Riverside that also left the gunman dead.
The officer-involved shooting occurred about 5:35 p.m. in the area of Box Springs Boulevard and Eastridge Avenue, just west of Interstate 215.
A CHP officer had just pulled over a GMC pickup truck for an unknown violation and was doing paperwork to have the truck towed when the suspect pulled a weapon from the truck and opened fire on the officer, according to CHP Assistant Chief Scott Parker.
The officer was able to make a call for help and at least three other CHP officers responded to the scene, as well as Riverside police officers and Riverside County sheriff’s deputies.
The first CHP officers to arrive engaged in a gun battle with the suspect and ultimately mortally wounded him. Two other CHP officers were injured, one critically and another suffered minor injuries, Parker said.
All three wounded officers were rushed to a hospital, one was airlifted, another taken in a CHP vehicle. The officer who was taken by helicopter was pronounced dead at the hospital, Parker said.
Video from outside the hospitals showed an officer standing watch and a line of motorcycles outside the emergency room, as well as a hearse that arrived just after 10 p.m.
Two bystanders suffered superficial injuries as a result of the shootout, Parker said.
A weapon, described as a rifle, was recovered at the scene, Riverside Police Department Chief Sergio Diaz said at a Monday night news conference.
Riverside police are leading a multiple-agency investigation involving the CHP and Riverside County Sheriff’s Department.
Diaz described the crime scene as large and said the helicopter used to take the officer who died at a hospital is part of that crime scene.
“We don’t know where the suspect was going, where he was headed to, what his affiliations are,” Diaz said. “We don’t know his motive for this crime and we won’t speculate on that.”
Riverside police detectives will pour over a massive amount of evidence, including video from officers’ body-worn cameras, the paperwork of the stop from the deceased officer and witness statements and video over the next few days, Diaz said.
The names of the officers and the suspect involved in the shootout were not released.
Traffic near the shooting scene and the nearby Interstate 215/Moreno Valley (60) Freeway interchange was expected to be impacted throughout the morning commute and drivers were asked to find alternate routes, Riverside County Sheriff Chad Bianco said.