A man shot himself a short distance from Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railroad tracks on the west side of Riverside Wednesday, prompting a closure of the rail line and stopping all Metrolink traffic.
“We confirmed it was not a homicide,” Riverside police Officer Ryan Railsback told City News Service. “The subject had been laying there for some time before somebody called about it, and that’s when they closed the railroad tracks.”
Patrol officers were summoned to the 7600 block of Railroad Avenue, near Madison Street, about 2:25 p.m. to investigate reports of a possible fatal shooting and found the man, whose name was withheld.
“He was probably within 15 feet of the tracks, leaning against something,” Railsback said. “Our investigators found security surveillance video and other evidence indicating the victim committed suicide.”
The shooting likely happened in the early morning hours, but a specific time was not known. According to Railsback, at least one person saw the victim laying motionless when he walked out of his home Wednesday morning, but assumed the man was a transient who fell asleep.
A bicyclist riding by shortly after 2 p.m. took a closer look and spotted the handgun and dried blood, at which point he called 911, the police spokesman said.
BNSF officials immediately shut down the tracks going both east- and westbound, giving detectives time to process the scene. Metrolink commuter trains, including one bound for Laguna Niguel, were stopped in downtown Riverside.
As of 5 p.m., one track had been reopened, but both freight and commuter trains were backed up, throwing off schedules by hours, according to Metrolink.
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