Sheriff's deputy opens fire after stolen vehicle slams into patrol car in Wildomar, authorities say

City News Service
Monday, January 1, 2024
Deputy opens fire after vehicle slams into patrol car in Wildomar
A suspected car thief slammed a vehicle into a sheriff's patrol car in Wildomar, prompting a deputy to open fire, authorities said.

WILDOMAR, Calif. (CNS) -- A suspect slammed a stolen vehicle into a sheriff's patrol car in Wildomar on Sunday, prompting a deputy to open fire, authorities said.

At 1:09 p.m. Sunday, a deputy assigned to the sheriff's Lake Elsinore station located a stolen vehicle in the area of Cervera Road and Prairie Road in Wildomar, according to the Riverside County Sheriff's Department.

"The deputy attempted a vehicle stop; however, the suspect failed to follow commands," the department said. "The suspect vehicle made a U-turn and intentionally drove into the driver's side door of the deputy's vehicle, and a deputy-involved shooting occurred. The deputy's vehicle became disabled as a result of the collision."

Sheriff's officials said the two occupants of the suspected stolen vehicle ran northbound on Prairie Road toward Cervera Road, entered a silver Chevy Impala with California license plate number 7WLX269, and fled the scene.

Witnesses described the first suspect as a 27- or 28-year-old thin Hispanic man, approximately 5-feet-9 inches tall. He was last seen wearing a green hat, black hooded sweatshirt and blue jeans.

The second suspect was described as a 30-year-old Hispanic man approximately 5-feet-3 inches tall with a heavy build. He was last seen wearing a black hooded sweatshirt and dark-colored jeans. He also has red lips tattooed on his right cheek.

The deputy sustained minor injuries, while the suspects remain outstanding, and their injuries were unknown, according to the sheriff's department.

The involved deputy, who was not identified, will be placed on paid administrative leave according to department policy.

Anyone with information regarding the incident was encouraged to contact Riverside County Senior District Attorney Investigator Eric Crosson or Sheriff's Master Investigator James Dickey at (951) 955-2777.

Anyone with information on the whereabouts of the suspects or the vehicle was asked to contact the sheriff's department at (951) 776-1099.