A Riverside County sheriff’s deputy and a gunman were hospitalized after exchanging fire in a Wednesday night shootout, authorities said.
Deputies arrived at Ramon and Robert roads in the unincorporated Thousand Palms area around 7:10 p.m. Wednesday to find a suspect in a felony hit-and-run case. When they tried to detain the driver of a car at the scene, a passenger in the vehicle began shooting at deputies, according to the Riverside County Sheriff’s Office.
After the man refused to get out of the car or follow deputy commands, the Sheriff Office’s Special Enforcement Bureau and the California Highway Patrol as well as other local agencies were called to assist with the barricade situation.
During the exchange of gunfire, a deputy was struck, according to the sheriff’s office. The deputy was taken to a hospital and is stable.
The suspect was also shot and was taken into custody, the sheriff’s office said. He is stable as well. The driver of the car was arrested and booked on an outstanding felony warrant.
The sheriff’s office declined to release the name of the deputy who was shot.
A law enforcement source who was not authorized to speak publicly told The Times that the deputy was in the office’s field training program, meaning the deputy was either a new academy graduate or was being transferred from a correctional facility to patrol duty.
He and another training deputy responded to the suspect, who was suicidal, according to the law enforcement source. The deputy was shot in the abdomen but was alert and speaking when he was taken to the hospital, the source said.
The deputy was not the first to come under fire in the last year for the Riverside County Sheriff’s Office.
In January, Deputy Darnell Calhoun was shot and killed when responding to a domestic violence call.
That came just weeks after another deputy, Isaiah Cordero, was killed in late December.