HEMET OFFICER WOUNDED IN DRIVE-BY SHOOTING – GUNMAN ARRESTED
HEMET, Calif. — Authorities say that one of two officers investigating reports of someone indiscriminately shooting a gun in Hemet was struck by gunfire when the suspect drove back through the area of the initially reported shootings and fired upon one of the two officers early this morning, Monday, Nov. 23.
The suspect, 20-year-old, Robert Moran, of Hemet, was apprehended shortly after the shooting, which happened in the 3400 block of W Florida Avenue.
The officer, who was shot in the knee and has worked for Hemet PD for about nine months, was rushed to an area hospital with a non-life-threatening gunshot wound and is continuing to recover at the hospital according to Hemet Police Lt. Nate Miller.
This morning’s incident began around 4 a.m. when officers were dispatched to the 3400 block of W. Florida Avenue after receiving the report of someone shooting a gun in the area, Miller has since said of the shooting.
One of two officers who were first to arrive in the area began checking the area for evidence of a shooting while the other officer spoke with the person who had called 911 and reported the incident.
At about 4:19 a.m., while one of the officers was continuing to speak with the 911 caller in a parking lot near a Wendy’s fast-food restaurant, the witness suddenly spotted the gunman in a silver Acura.
“The (reporting party) said something to the effect of, ‘That looks like him’, and pointed to a vehicle slowly traveling through the same parking lot,” Miller described; adding, “At that time, the suspect fired at the officer from his vehicle.”
“The officer, who did not return fire at the fleeing vehicle, was hit one time in the leg,” Miller continued.
Responding to the officer’s subsequent distress call, officers and deputies from throughout the region flooded into the area to assist.
The suspect’s vehicle then raced through the parking lot and exited onto Florida Avenue, as other officers converged on the scene.
Responding officers quickly located the suspect’s vehicle on Florida Avenue adjacent to the parking lot where the shootings had taken place and initiated a high-risk felony traffic stop.
The suspect, since identified as Moran, was the sole occupant of the vehicles and was taken into custody without incident, according to Miller; who said, “A handgun was located on the front passenger seat of Moran’s vehicle.”
Moran is expected to be booked into Riverside County Jail on suspicion of attempted murder of a peace officer and other related charges and his bail will be set at $1 million, according to Miller.
No officers fired their weapons during this incident and no other officers or citizens were injured as a result of Moran’s gunfire.
The officer, who has not yet been publicly identified, was transported to an area hospital with a gunshot wound to his knee.
“He is alert and in good spirits,” said Miller.
As of late this morning, Florida Avenue remained closed in both directions between Golden Village and Sanderson Avenue, as the shooting investigation continues.