Update @ 10:27 p.m.: The Riverside County Coroner’s office have identified the man shot and killed by a Riverside County Sheriff’s deputy as 53-year-old Hemet resident Theodore Sazzmann.
Original: A suspected burglar was shot and killed by a Riverside County Sheriff’s deputy after the suspect reached for a dark object when the officer asked to see the man’s hands, law enforcement officials reported today.
Deputies were called regarding a suspicious person just before 1:30 a.m. on Thursday Oct. 18 in the area of Garrett Way and Arroyo Viejo Drive in San Jacinto.
The arriving officer noticed a car that appeared to be broken into in the 900 block of Hisse Drive, Deputy Albert Martinez said in a sheriff’s press release.
As the officer was surveying the suspected burglary, he noticed a car starting nearby. Believing the vehicle was most likely connected to the burglary, he approached the car and instructed the male driver to show him his hands.
The man refused to comply with the officer’s demands and reached and grabbed a dark object from the center console, Deputy Martinez added.
Fearing for his life and believing the suspect might be reaching for a weapon, the deputy fired his weapon, hitting the man.
The man was immediately transported to a local hospital where he succumbed to his injuries. The deceased man’s name is being withheld pending notification of next of kin.
The involved officer was uninjured and per department policy will be placed on paid administrative leave, Deputy Martinez explained.
During the investigation, two victim’s who had their car’s burglarized in the area were identified.
Anyone with additional information regarding this ongoing investigation is urged to contact Investigator Wortman of the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department Central Homicide Unit at 951-955-2777 or Investigator Doug Frey of the San Jacinto Police Department at 951-791-3400.
Stephanie D. Schulte is a writer/photographer with SWRNN. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.