• BREAKING NEWS ABC shows live and on-demand -- Download the WATCH ABC app!

Arrest made in Riverside officer's murder

November 9, 2010 12:00:00 AM PST
Eyewitness News has learned Riverside Police have arrested a male suspect at a Target store in Riverside in connection to the murder of Riverside Police Officer Ryan Bonaminio.The suspect's identity has not yet been released.

Riverside Police held a news conference Tuesday afternoon to update an officer's fatal shooting case and to offer a reward. Approximately $390,000 has been offered for information leading to the arrest and conviction of Bonaminio's murderer.

Just a few miles away Tuesday night, a candlelight vigil was held for Bonaminio.

People gathered at the location where he was murdered to lay flowers and pay their respects.

According to Riverside Police Chief Sergio Diaz, Sunday's incident began when an unidentified suspect stole a big-rig tractor-trailer truck from a North Riverside location.

The suspect was then reported to police as being involved in a hit-and-run accident.

Riverside Police Officer Ryan Bonaminio was the first officer to arrive on the scene; he stopped the big-rig, whereupon the driver fled on foot. Bonaminio gave chase on foot. An altercation then occurred, ending with a shooting that killed Bonaminio.

The suspect then returned to the big-rig and drove it back to the location he stole it from, then disappeared.

Riverside Police released partial video Tuesday taken from the dashboard-mounted camera in Bonaminio's police vehicle. It was hoped the suspect would be identified by the public by his specific carriage and way of moving. Diaz said the suspect's carriage was distinctive.

It was not known if the suspect had a gun. Diaz also said it was unknown what gun killed Bonaminio. No gun was recovered from the scene; Bonaminio's gun has not been found. It was not known if Bonaminio fired his gun.

According to Riverside Police Detective Ron Sanfilippo, investigators spoke to witnesses who were in Fairmount Park during the shooting. Witnesses reportedly saw the majority of the incident, but police would not expand on witness reports. The witnesses reportedly work at a church located in the park.

Sanfilippo said it was possible that the suspect had enough of a head-start to lie in wait for Bonaminio and disarm him, but said that it was not clear if that is what happened.

The suspect was believed to have experience driving a big-rig tractor-trailer due to his ability to drive the vehicle. Fingerprints were being investigated. It was believed the suspect acted alone.

Diaz said the backup officer arriving on scene missed the scene possibly by minutes.

"We know [the suspect] is somebody who's willing to take on an officer, execute them, we believe, and very coolly, walk back to his vehicle and make good his escape," said Diaz.

Diaz also said he believes the suspect is a career criminal, someone with a violent past, someone who law enforcement has dealt with before.

"We have a system here where, in our society, we catch and release criminals," said Diaz. "I would be very surprised if this isn't somebody that we've caught before and probably convicted for violent crimes, and we keep putting them out into the streets."

Through a combination of the Riverside City Council, the county, the district attorney's office, the police association, the federal marshals service, the FBI, the ATF, the Morongo Band of Mission Indians, and the San Manuel Band of Indians, a reward of approximately $390,000 has been offered for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the suspect in the case.

Anyone with information related to the case is urged to call Riverside Police at (951) 353-7915.

Funeral services for Bonaminio are scheduled for Tuesday, Nov. 16, at Grove Community Church in Riverside at 10 a.m. Bonaminio will be interred later at Riverside National Cemetery.

A memorial fund has been set up for Bonaminio:

Riverside Police Officers Association
In care of: Ryan Bonaminio
(951) 784-1035
1965 Chicago Ave, #B
Riverside, CA 92507


Load Comments