A 19-year-old suspected of robbing a Hemet store today was shot by a police officer at the end of a foot chase during which the bandit allegedly leveled his gun at his pursuers, authorities said.
The officer-involved shooting occurred around 8:45 a.m. near Melrose Avenue and Girard Street, according to the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department, which was asked by Hemet police to investigate the incident.
A short time before the gunfire, officers had been called to a strip mall in the 2100 block of East Florida Avenue to investigate an armed robbery, sheriff’s officials said.
While speaking with a witness near the intersection of El Nita Lane and Girard, officers heard shots and immediately focused a block away, where they spotted Jesus Rivera of San Jacinto running west on Melrose, according to sheriff’s Sgt. Lisa McConnell.
Rivera allegedly ran behind a house, with officers not far behind, McConnell said.
“An assisting officer entered the backyard from the side of the house,” McConnell said. “He saw the suspect stop, turn and point his gun in the direction of the pursuing officers. At this time, an officer-involved shooting occurred.”
Rivera suffered a non-life-threatening wound and was taken to a hospital for treatment.
No officers were injured, authorities said.