Riverside County Deputy Fatally Shoots Man Armed With Ax in Mecca Area

A man armed with an ax was fatally shot by a Riverside County Sheriff’s Department deputy early Sunday in the Mecca area, just north of the Salton Sea, authorities said.

Deputies responded to help officials with the California Highway Patrol and Cal Fire with a “non-compliant subject armed with an axe” in the area of Lincoln Street and 66th Avenue about 3:27 a.m., according a Riverside County Sheriff’s Department statement.

The statement did not indicate exactly what prompted the deputy to open fire, but the man was struck and taken to a hospital, where he died of his injuries. His name was not released because the investigation is ongoing.

Authorities said there was no injuries to law enforcement personnel. The deputy, who was not identified, was placed on administrative leave under normal department policy.

The sheriff’s Central Homicide Unit is investigating.

Anyone with information is asked to contact Central Homicide Investigator Navarrete at 951-955-2777 or Thermal Sheriff’s Station Investigator Tijerina at 760-863-8990.