Suspected DUI Driver Fatally Shot by Deputies Following Pursuit on 15 Freeway in Lake Elsinore Area ID’d

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Authorities on Thursday released the identity of an allegedly intoxicated man who was killed by deputies following a pursuit on the 15 Freeway in the Lake Elsinore area.

The man, who died at the scene just after 10 p.m. on Jan. 11, was 41-year-old Orange resident Hafez Abousamra, according to the Riverside County coroner’s office.

The pursuit earlier this month began when a California Highway Patrol officer noticed Abousamra driving erratically and stopped his Ford F-150 in Corona to inquire if he had been drinking, at which point Abousamra allegedly fired an assault rifle at the officer before fleeing south on the 15 Freeway, according to a statement from the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department.

Riverside deputies began assisting CHP in their attempt to arrest the driver, who continued shooting at law enforcement as he continued south along the freeway, officials said. The interstate was temporarily closed Wednesday night due to the violent incident.

The truck eventually exited the interstate in Lake Elsinore and led deputies into a residential neighborhood near the intersection of Villa Roma and Via Palmieki Court in the Tuscany Hills community, where he got out of his vehicle and continued shooting at deputies, who returned fire, the sheriff’s office release states.

Abousamra was fatally wounded around 9:40 p.m. after firing his weapon into a home and attempting to enter the residence, according to deputies’ statements and the coroner’s report. Officials on scene attempted to render medical aid, but Abousamra died at the scene 20 minutes later at 10:01 p.m., authorities said.

The deputies involved, whose names the sheriff’s office declined to release, were placed on administrative leave per department policy, officials said. No deputies were injured in the course of the incident.