Knife-wielding suspect ID’d after deadly deputy-involved shooting

RANCHO MIRAGE — Officials today identified a knife-wielding man who was fatally shot by deputies during an encounter in Rancho Mirage earlier this month. The deadly shooting happened Tuesday evening, July 9, in the area of Bob Hope Drive and Ramon Rd.

In an updated press release dated Wednesday, July 17, Riverside Sheriff’s spokesperson Deputy Robyn Flores identified the man killed earlier this month as 36-year-old, Jason Harris, of Rancho Mirage. His name had not been previously released, pending further investigation and notification of the man’s family.

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The incident which led to Harris’ fatal shooting began July 9, at 7:23 p.m., when deputies from the Palm Desert Sheriff’s Station responded to the report of a male subject “waving a knife in the air and exhibiting bizarre behavior,” Flores explained. The 911 caller told emergency dispatchers the man was armed with a knife and was waving it in the air.

When deputies arrived in the area they found a man later identified as Harris still armed with a knife.

Deputies gave several loud, verbal commands for Harris to drop the knife; however, he failed to comply resulting in deputies using a “less-lethal” Taser device in an attempt to subdue him. Unfortunately, the Taser proved ineffective.

“The suspect continued to refuse to comply with deputies’ commands, then advanced towards deputies still armed with the knife, resulting in a deputy involved shooting,” explained Flores.

Harris was injured during the shooting, and deputies immediately began rendering aid and life-saving measures until paramedics arrived and rushed the man to a local hospital. Despite advanced life-saving efforts at the hospital, Harris succumbed to his injuries and was later pronounced deceased by hospital personnel.

Based on the circumstances, Investigators from the Sheriff’s Central Homicide Unit responded to the scene and assumed the investigation.

Flores reported at the time that there were no injuries to members of the public or deputies and that there were no outstanding suspects or threat to public safety. 

The deputies involved in the shooting were placed on administrative leave per Department policies and their names have not been released as of this update.

Anyone with information regarding this investigation is encouraged to contact Central Homicide Investigator Navarrete at (951) 955-2777. Callers can refer to incident file number S191900057 and can remain anonymous. Citizens may also submit a tip using the Sheriff’s Homicide Tipline online form.


Contact the writer: trevor.rcns@gmail.com

Trevor Montgomery, 47, moved last year to the Intermountain area of Shasta County from Riverside County and runs Riverside County News Source and Shasta County News Source. Additionally, he writes for several other news organizations; including Riverside County based newspapers, Valley News, The Valley Chronicle, and Anza Valley Outlook; as well as Bonsall/Fallbrook Village News in San Diego County and Mountain Echo in Shasta County.

Trevor spent 10 years in the U.S. Army as an Orthopedic Specialist before joining the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department in 1998. He was medically retired after losing his leg, breaking his back, and suffering both spinal cord and brain injuries in an off-duty accident. (Click here to see segment of Discovery Channel documentary of Trevor’s accident.)

During his time with the sheriff’s department, Trevor worked at several different stations; including Robert Presley Detention Center, Southwest Station in Temecula, Hemet/Valle Vista Station, Ben Clark Public Safety Training Center, and Lake Elsinore Station; along with other locations.

Trevor’s assignments included Corrections, Patrol, DUI Enforcement, Boat and Personal Water-Craft based Lake Patrol, Off-Road Vehicle Enforcement, Problem Oriented Policing Team, and Personnel/Background Investigations. He finished his career while working as a Sex Crimes and Child Abuse Investigator and was a court-designated expert in child abuse and child sex-related crimes.

Trevor has been married for more than 28 years and was a foster parent to more than 60 children over 13 years. He is now an adoptive parent and his “fluid family” includes 13 children and 15 – but soon to be 16 – grandchildren.

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