DRIVER SHOT AFTER DEPUTY STRUCK BY SUSPECT’S CAR AT END OF PURSUIT
MORENO VALLEY, Calif. — Authorities say that a man who led deputies on a pursuit in Moreno Valley was shot when he accelerated in reverse and struck a deputy Friday evening, Nov. 20. Both the injured deputy and driver who was shot were hospitalized after the incident and their current conditions were not known as of this report.
A passenger in the vehicle that struck the deputy was uninjured in the shooting, which happened in front of a closed entrance of an apartment complex in the area of Heacock Street and Cottonwood Avenue, according to the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department.
Last night’s incident began at 8:39 p.m. when deputies assigned to the Moreno Valley Sheriff’s Station spotted a suspected drunk driver in the area of Lark Haven Drive and Goldfinch Street and attempted to perform a traffic stop, Riverside Sheriff’s Sergeant Lionel Murphy later said of the incident and shooting.
“When deputies activated the emergency lights on their marked Sheriff’s unit, the driver of the vehicle failed to stop, and a vehicle pursuit began,” explained Murphy.
The vehicle pursuit continued to an apartment complex in the area of Heacock Street and Cottonwood Avenue, where the suspect vehicle stopped in front of the complex’s closed entrance.
“As deputies exited their patrol unit, the driver reversed and struck one of the deputies,” said Murphy; adding, “It was at that time that a deputy-involved shooting occurred.”
“During the shooting incident, the driver of the vehicle was struck by gunfire,” Murphy continued.
Both the deputy who was struck and the suspect injured in the shooting was taken to a nearby hospital to be treated for their injuries, according to Murphy; who did not specify the full extent of their injuries.
Uninjured during the shooting, a second person inside the vehicle that fled was detained at the scene and later transported to the Moreno Valley Sheriff’s Station for further investigation. Based on the suspect’s pending charges, the passenger was possibly held against their will and not allowed to exit the vehicle being chased during the pursuit.
The suspect, who was later identified as 26-year-old, Quintin Howard, remains hospitalized and will be booked into jail for attempted murder on a peace officer, false imprisonment, and felony evading, according to Murphy.
Sandra Danner, who lives in the complex where the shooting occurred, later described hearing the gunfire, telling Nathan Wilking of RVC News, “I heard gunshots, about eight gunshots.”
Danner went on to say she ran outside to see what was happening and described the law enforcement response in the shooting’s immediate aftermath, saying, “As soon as I ran outside I seen like, maybe, eight police cars.”
Danner also described seeing and hearing one of the handcuffed individuals after he was placed in the back seat of a patrol vehicle.
“We could hear him in the back seat, basically crying, like he was asking for help,” said Danner, who did not know if the person she saw was the suspect or the second person who was detained.
Investigators from the Force Investigations Detail, consisting of the Riverside County District Attorney Investigators and the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department Central Homicide Unit, responded and assumed the investigation. The Riverside County District Attorney’s Office will be the lead investigating agency.
The deputies involved in this incident, whose names have not yet been released, have been placed on administrative leave in accordance with department policy.
“This is an active and ongoing investigation with no further details available at this time,” said Murphy.
The Force Investigations Detail encourages anyone with information regarding this incident to contact D.A. Investigator Quilantan at (951) 334-0407 or Investigator Dickey at (951) 955-2777. Callers can refer to incident file number MV2032500380 and can remain anonymous.