UPDATED: HEMET: Hours-long standoff ends in fatal officer-involved shooting, victim ID’d
Deputies from the Sheriff’s Emergency Response Team remove their gear after the hours-long stand-off and deadly shooting. John Strangis photo
UPDATE: 07/26/2016 1:15 a.m. With Coroner’s release of information
ORIGINAL STORY AT BOTTOM OF PAGE
HEMET – The Riverside County Coroner’s office has identified the man who was fatally shot by Riverside County Sheriff’s deputies and a CHP officer Sunday, July 24 as Robert Lourenco, 36, of Riverside.
According to Coroner officials, Lourenco was shot in the 26800 Block of Lawrence Court at 12:31 p.m. He was pronounced dead at the scene at 1:10 p.m.
UPDATE: 07/25/2016 11:00 a.m. With additional information from sheriff’s department
HEMET – More details are coming to light about yesterday’s fatal officer-involved shooting involving a man who was armed with a gun and what has been described as a hatchet or tomahawk.
The deadly shooting happened at a property on Lawrence Court in an unincorporated area of Hemet, west of the city of Hemet and northeast of Winchester.
The armed man died at the scene after being shot by several law enforcement officers from two different agencies, according to Riverside Sheriff’s Public Information Officer Deputy Michael Vasquez.
The deadly encounter began at about 10:30 a.m. when Riverside County emergency dispatchers received several 911 calls from citizens reporting seeing a man walking in a residential neighborhood armed with a firearm and hatchet. Callers told dispatchers the man was acting in a “bizarre and erratic manner” and they were concerned for their safety as well as the man’s condition.
Deputies from the Riverside County Sheriff’s Perris Station responded to the area to search for the man. Officers from Californa Highway Patrol also responded to assist in locating the subject.
Officials located the man near the area of Lawrence Court and Stetson Avenue. When they tried to contact the man, he ran away from them, hiding amongst trees and homes in the area. Officers and deputies confirmed the man was still armed with the gun and a hatchet.
Deputies from several surrounding stations, including Perris, Menifee, and Moreno Valley and officers from CHP and Hemet Police Department spent several hours trying to speak with the armed man and calm his erratic behavior, as they attempted to negotiate a peaceful resolution.
While the incident was occurring a sheriff’s helicopter continuously circled the area, providing guidance to incoming officials and updating them about the suspect’s constant movements between buildings, vehicles, and properties.
Members of the Aviation Crew also used their public address system to tell the man to put the hatchet and handgun down. They could also be heard telling the man to come out to deputies.
“The suspect refused to relinquish his weapons or surrender,” Vasquez explained. At times, the man charged at officers and deputies while still armed with the two weapons, only to retreat and hide behind trees, shrubbery, buildings, and vehicles.
Due to the man’s highly erratic behavior deputies at the scene requested assistance from additional deputies from the surrounding area and officers from Hemet Police Department. Two Bearcat armored rescue vehicles also were sent to the location to assist in taking the man into custody.
Despite their efforts at peacefully resolving the incident “negotiations failed when the male pointed a gun in the officers’ direction and an officer-involved shooting occurred,” Vasquez explained.
After he was struck by gunfire and down on the ground, the man was still in possession of his weapons and was seen moving about.
Due to the man’s previous behavior and the danger to deputies and officers, officials decided to wait for the arrival of the armored rescue vehicles before approaching the subject.
Once officials were able to safely approach the man, they quickly determined he succumbed to his injuries,” Vasquez said. The subject was pronounced dead at the scene.”
The man’s name has not be released pending notification of his family.
“Deputies from the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department, and an officer from the California Highway Patrol have been placed on administrative leave per their Departments’ policies,” according to Vasquez.
The involved officers’ names have not been released.
Investigators from the Riverside County Sheriff’s Central Homicide Unit responded and assumed the investigation.
Family members of the man who was killed in the shooting have claimed the gun the man had been waving was not real, calling it a “toy.”
Sheriff’s officials have not commented regarding whether the gun the man was holding and repeatedly pointed at officials was a real gun or not; citing their active and ongoing investigation.
Anyone with information regarding the fatal shooting is encouraged to contact Central Homicide Unit Investigator Dean at (951) 955-2777 or Investigator Pico at (951) 210-1000 from the Perris Station. Callers can refer to incident file number PC162060029 and can remain anonymous. Citizens may also submit a tip using the Sheriff’s CrimeTips online form.
WINCHESTER – Very few details are known following a fatal officer-involved shooting that occurred in the unincorporated community of Winchester, west of Hemet earlier today, Sunday, July 24. The deadly shooting occurred in the area of California and Stetson Avenues.
The fatal shooting incident followed an hours-long standoff between a subject who was reportedly armed with a handgun and a tomahawk and numerous officers and deputies from multiple agencies and sheriff’s stations, including the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department, California Highway Patrol, and Hemet Police Department.
The person who was fatally shot has only been described as an adult male.
It was not immediately known how the incident began, how many officers fired their weapons, how many rounds were fired, or if the suspect fired his weapon.
The crime scene is still very active and a sheriff’s command post has been established nearby at an undisclosed location.
Investigators from the Sheriff’s Central Homicide Unit have responded to assume the investigation and forensic investigators have been summoned to the scene to collect and document evidence at the location.
A press release is expected to be issued by the Riverside County Sheriff’s department at a later time.
This is a developing story. Updates will be provided as they become available.
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