A suspect shot by law enforcement officers following a pursuit on the Moreno Valley (60) Freeway in the Banning Pass allegedly leveled a loaded rifle at the officers just before they opened fire, authorities said today.
The man, whose identity was not disclosed, was spotted by a Riverside County sheriff’s deputy around 7:40 p.m. Thursday driving erratically, with one tire completely shredded, on the eastbound 60, near the Interstate 10 junction, according to sheriff’s officials.
The deputy signaled the suspect to pull over, but he refused, triggering a pursuit, said Deputy Herlinda Valenzuela.
A California Highway Patrol officer took over the chase, backed up by several deputies from the sheriff’s Cabazon station.
The chase went about six miles, ending just east of 22nd Street on the eastbound 10.
“The investigation has revealed that the suspect, a white male adult, was armed with a loaded rifle and pointed (it) at the deputies and officer,” Valenzuela said.
She did not say how many shots were fired at the suspect, who remains hospitalized in stable condition.
The deputies and CHP officer were not hurt.
“The suspect is not currently wanted for any other crime and has no outstanding warrants,” Valenzuela said. “The reason for the suspect’s actions is unknown at this time.”
She said toxicology tests may offer greater insights, including whether he was under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
Eastbound I-10 was shut down until 3:15 this morning while an investigation was conducted.