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by Trevor MontgomeryOctober 18, 2020

HEMET, Calif. — Authorities and witnesses say a man shot his ex-wife’s boyfriend before leading deputies on a pursuit from Hemet to Winchester Thursday morning, Oct. 15.

The incident, which began on the 40000 block of Clark Dr., between San Jacinto and Girard streets and ended about 10 miles away at the intersection of Winchester Rd./Hwy 79 and Simpson St., forced the hours-long closures of separate crime scenes at the two locations.

The fleeing man was eventually blocked in and wedged by two armored tactical rescue vehicles where he reportedly shot himself at the end of a standoff, according to sheriff’s officials, who said the man was hospitalized with a self-inflicted gunshot wound. His condition as of this report was unknown.

Deputies from the Hemet Sheriff’s Station responded to a private residence at the Clark Dr. location shortly before 11 a.m., after receiving a report of an assault with a deadly weapon, Riverside Sheriff’s Sgt. Lionel Murphy has since said of the incident.

When deputies arrived they found a man who had sustained a single gunshot wound. The victim was transported to a local trauma center for treatment of his injuries, which family members later described as a non-life-threatening gunshot wound to his arm.

According to witnesses at the scene, the suspect, whose name has not been released, shot his ex-wife’s boyfriend during an altercation at the Clark Rd. residence.

Family members and witnesses later said that after being shot, the injured boyfriend ran from the location on foot, reportedly hiding between two nearby houses until the suspect left and deputies began arriving at the scene.

Investigating deputies learned the suspect had fled the scene in a lifted, black Chevy pickup truck and was possibly headed to the Winchester area.

While deputies were beginning their investigation where the initial shooting occurred, reports began to come in that other deputies had spotted the alleged gunman driving back toward the scene of the shooting.

“Responding deputies found a black pickup truck in the area being driven by a single male occupant matching the suspect’s description,” explained Murphy. “When the suspect failed to stop for responding deputies, a vehicle pursuit began.”

Hearing that deputies were in pursuit of the suspect, the majority of deputies at the scene of the shooting raced out of the residential neighborhood to assist in and join the pursuit. (See video below.)

As the pursuit continued, numerous marked and unmarked vehicles, along with two armored tactical rescue vehicles and a sheriff’s helicopter joined in the chase.

When the pursuit entered the Four Corners area of Winchester, the pickup truck became wedged in and blocked by the two large armored vehicles and could not proceed any further.

Despite being wedged between the two armored vehicles, the suspect refused to exit his truck, leading to a short, but tense standoff.

While a Sheriff’s aviation unit circled in a helicopter overhead and small crowds of area residents and spectators anxiously watched the action unfold around them, heavily armed Sheriff’s SWAT members, patrol deputies, and other officials could be seen taking cover behind the two armored vehicles.

As the standoff continued, several of the suspect’s concerned family members responded to the area to try and convince him to surrender to deputies.

One family member told Robert Carter, of Facebook’s Public Safety Incidents, that as the pursuit continued, they were on the phone with suspect “trying to talk him down.”

The suspect reportedly told family members he had one bullet left. “That was the last we heard from him,” the unidentified family member said.

As the standoff continued, a crisis negotiator could be heard over a PA loudspeaker repeatedly hailing the suspect, saying, “Sir, this is the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department. If you need medical care, we’re here to assist you.”

When the man continued to refuse to exit his truck the deputy could be heard repeating, “We have medical aid on scene that can assist you. Just exit the truck with nothing in your hands and your hands in the air.”

About 20 minutes into the standoff, SWAT members cautiously approached the truck, where they found the suspect suffering from a single gunshot wound.

Deputies immediately began providing the man medical aid and paramedics who had been standing by and ready were summoned to take over life-saving efforts.

The man was ultimately transported to an area hospital in unknown condition.

“At the conclusion of the pursuit, the suspect displayed a firearm and fired one round causing a self-inflicted gunshot wound,” Murphy later explained; adding, “A firearm was recovered at the scene.”

Based on the circumstances, investigators from the Hemet Sheriff’s Station and the Force Investigations Detail responded to the two crime scenes and assumed the investigation. Both crime scenes remained blocked off for several hours while officials collected evidence and processed the two locations.

No deputies or other citizens were injured during the incident, according to Murphy; who said, “There are no outstanding suspects and there is no danger to the public.”

This story was originally published on and is published with permission

About The Author
Trevor Montgomery
Trevor Montgomery writes for several news organizations, including Riverside County based newspapers, Valley News, The Valley Chronicle and Anza Valley Outlook, as well as Bonsall/Fallbrook Village News in San Diego County and The Mountain Echo in Shasta County. Trevor spent 10 years in the U.S. Army as an Orthopedic Specialist before joining the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department in 1998. Trevor’s assignments included Corrections, Patrol, DUI Enforcement, Boat and Personal Watercraft based Lake Patrol, Off-Road Vehicle Enforcement, Problem Oriented Policing Team and Personnel/Background Investigations. He finished his career while working as a Sex Crimes and Child Abuse Investigator and was a court-designated expert in child abuse and child sex-related crimes.
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