DESERT HOT SPRINGS – “Boom, boom, boom, boom, boom! Five to six [bullets] went off with the two officers. When the other officers arrived, it continued.”
A Desert Hot Springs resident who identified herself only as “Lisa V.” watched Wednesday Night as an officer-involved shooting unfolded.
She saw Travis Jonsrud, 18, crossing the street at the intersection of Palm Drive and Hacienda when he took off his shoes in the middle of the street and kept walking.
He sat at the corner until police approached him.
“I thought maybe their stopping to question him, that maybe something’s wrong,” Lisa speculated. “You know, ‘why are you leaving your shoes here?’ But it became an altercation.”
An officer and Jonsrud fought, according to witness accounts. Jonsrud ran. Officers followed him to a parking lot not too far from where it all began. Thestruggle continued.
She says one of the officers tased Jonsrud during the tussle, but he quickly recovered and the scuffle continued.
Lisa V. said in the end, both cops shot Jonsrud.
The witness found Jonsrud’s cell phone lying in the parking lot and called his father.
“I left with it because I wanted to contact a family member. If it were me and my child, I would want someone to contact me.”
It’s unclear if Jonsrud was under the influence of drugs at the time.
Some witnesses say he looked like he was under the influence, but his close friend told News Channel 3 that he’s not that kind of person.
The young man works as a lifeguard and at a Desert Hot Springs Pizza Hut. He’s also in a band.
Police and the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department will both investigate the incident.
This latest round of violence in the city had a mother of six, Teresata Ramirez, worried about her neighborhood and the police.
“[It’s disheartening] to see everything that’s going on with people and drugs, just all this crazy stuff that’s going on around us. Our neighborhoods not even safe anymore.”
As of Friday morning, Jonsrud remained in critical condition at Desert Regional Medical Center.