Highway 243 was closed at about 12:24 a.m. Thursday after an officer-involved shooting occurred during a traffic stop off the highway in Banning. The highway from Twin Pines Road to Smith Creek in Banning was closed for many hours.
The unidentified suspect shot at a Banning Police officer after the stop, striking and disabling the vehicle, according to the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department.
Banning Police Department requested assistance from surrounding law enforcement agencies. Beaumont Police Department officers pursued the suspect who fled the scene in an older-model green station wagon heading eastbound on Interstate 10.
Beaumont Police “officers attempted to stop the suspect who failed to yield,” according to the press release. “The suspect fled at a high rate of speed and a pursuit was initiated.”
Sheriff’s deputies joined Beaumont officers in pursuing the suspect eastbound on I-10 toward the Palm Springs area. The suspect shot several times at Beaumont officers behind him. Palm Springs Police Department was then advised of the pursuit of an armed suspect heading toward their area.
“Upon entering the Palm Springs area, the suspect exited on North Indian Canyon Drive where he ultimately stopped his vehicle on the offramp,” according to the press release. An officer-involved shooting then occurred.
The sheriff’s department’s Special Enforcement Bureau and the Palm Springs Police used armored rescue vehicles to protect the law enforcement officers from the suspect who was barricaded inside his vehicle.
When officers approached the vehicle, the suspect was found dead. The suspect’s rifle was found in the vehicle. The suspect’s identity is being withheld pending next-of-kin notification.
No deputies or officers were injured. There are no outstanding suspects and there is no threat to the public.
“The involved deputies and officers will be placed on administrative leave per their department policy,” according to the press release. Their names are not being released.
An Investigator from the Riverside County District Attorney’s Office is leading the investigation, aided by the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department Force Investigations Detail. “This is an active and on-going investigation. Anyone with information regarding this incident is encouraged to contact District Attorney Investigator Carranza at 951-955-6705 or Riverside County Sheriff’s Investigator Bishop at 951-955-2777.”