An investigation was underway Friday into the fatal shooting of a man armed with a rifle at La Quinta City Hall by a Riverside County sheriff’s deputy.
Deputies were sent about 1:25 p.m. to La Quinta City Hall at 78495 Calle Tampico in response to a report of a man with a gun in the courtyard, said sheriff’s Sgt. Lionel Murphy. The deputies saw a man with a rifle, which he pointed at them, prompting a deputy to fire at the suspect, he said.
The suspect was taken to a hospital and later died. The rifle was recovered at the scene, Murphy said.
No deputies were injured.
The two deputies sent to the scene have been placed on administrative leave in accordance with department policy. Their names were not released.
Investigators from the Force Investigations Detail, consisting of the Riverside County District Attorney Investigators and Riverside County Sheriff’s Department Central Homicide Unit, are conducting the investigation.
The Force Investigations Detail urges anyone with information regarding the shooting to contact District Attorney Investigator Steve Paixao at 760-863-8216 or Investigator Dickey at 951-955-7777.
La Quinta Mayor Linda Evans said Thursday evening that a staffer encountered the armed man outside City Hall and alerted the sheriff’s department and staffers to the presence of “an active shooter,” the Desert Sun reported.
Evans, speaking at a mayoral and council candidates’ forum hosted on Zoom by the Greater Coachella Valley Chamber of Commerce, thanked the sheriff’s department for its “immediate response.”
She said the staffer who encountered the armed man was able to “safely enter our City Hall building and locked the doors” and, along with alerting authorities, “spread the word of an active shooter” to staff.
Due to the coronavirus pandemic, City Hall doors are locked because the building remains closed to the public. People have to make an appointment to be seen by a city worker and are only allowed into City Hall when arriving for a scheduled appointment.
The shooting was the third involving a Riverside County sheriff’s deputy in the Coachella Valley since June.
Jeffery Monroy, 33, of Cathedral City was fatally wounded Aug. 7 after authorities say he attacked a deputy with a screwdriver in the 70000 block of Tamarisk Lane in Rancho Mirage.
Deputies fatally shot Aaron Solorio Granados, 33, on June 22 outside C.V. Guns & Tackle at 41-945 Boardwalk, Suite R, in Palm Desert after he pointed a gun at them, according to the sheriff’s department.
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