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Suspect killed in deputy-involved shooting at Indian Wells country club

Live report from our Noon show

The Riverside County Sheriff's Department is investigating a deadly deputy-involved shooting following a police pursuit in Indian Wells.

Authorities confirmed the shooting happened inside the gates of the Desert Horizons Country Club, located near Rancho Palmeras Drive and Highway 111.

Riverside County Sheriffs Deputies cordoned off an area near the entrance of the Desert Horizons Country Club shortly after 7:00 a.m.

Riverside County Sheriff Chad Bianco confirmed to News Channel 3 that a man was killed by deputies. He said the incident started at the intersection of Simon Drive and Highway 111 in La Quinta, when the man got involved in a heated argument with another driver, threatening to kill the driver.

"Two drivers of vehicles engaged in some kind of argument. One of the drivers exited his vehicle and approached the second driver with a handgun pointed it at the driver and asked him if he wanted to die. The brief exchange of words between the two, the suspect then got back in his vehicle and drove away," Bianco said.

The victim called 911 and deputies were able to locate the suspect, who was driving a black Mercedes. Deputies followed the man to the Desert Horizons Country Club.

Authorities said the man told security that police were following him and he was able to get inside the country club. Deputies followed the man before the suspect made a u-turn upon entering the gate, got out of his car, and took out his gun, according to Bianco.

A letter from the Desert Horizons Owners Association said "... there was a Police pursuit coming down Hwy 111. The Police were close behind the suspect and they shot and killed the man at our front gate."

Immediately after the shooting, life-saving measures were started. The man died at the scene.

Deputies said they recovered a handgun. No other people were injured and there are no outstanding suspects.

The suspect’s identity is being withheld at this time.

Bianco said the two deputies were wearing body cameras. They will be placed on administrative leave, per department policy, while the case is reviewed.

"I know a lot of people that live right around the corner, this is an older retirement community and that kind of thing is scary," said valley resident, Edward Mathews.

Many people were curious to know what happened as they passed by the crime scene.

A man by the name of Ross said he heard "half a dozen shots, maybe fewer," as he walked his dog earlier Monday morning.

"You hear about it in other neighborhoods, but not your own so it was a little bit like, 'oh that’s kind of crazy,'" said Palm Desert resident, Sonia Reistad.

Reistad had come to pick something up from a friend who lives inside the gate.

"This is a little bit of an older neighborhood as far as the people that live here. It’s not expected, but I mean our valley is an interesting hodgepodge so it could be anywhere."

Deputies remained at the scene through the evening.

On Highway 111, the westbound traffic lane was shut down due to the police activity at the club's entrance just east of Cook Street. Deputies said the front entrance of the country club would be blocked to incoming and outgoing traffic.

Stay with News Channel 3 for continuing updates on the investigation.

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Shelby Nelson

Shelby Nelson is a News Reporter for KESQ News Channel 3. She joined our team in September 2019 after living in San Francisco for 6 years. Learn more about Shelby here.


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