Shoplifting Suspect Shot by Retired Police Officer at Riverside Home Depot; Former Officer Arrested

Police arrested a retired law enforcement officer after he shot and wounded another man who was trying to shoplift from a Riverside Home Depot store on Saturday afternoon, officials said.

Police question a man after an armed bystander shot and wounded a shoplifting suspect at a Home Depot in Riverside on Feb. 9, 2019. (Credit: Loudlabs)

Police question a man after an armed bystander shot and wounded a shoplifting suspect at a Home Depot in Riverside on Feb. 9, 2019. (Credit: Loudlabs)

Police first responded to a report of a shooting shortly after 4 p.m. at the home improvement store, 3323 Madison Street, Riverside Police Department Officer Ryan Railsback said.

The incident began when a man tried to leave the store without paying for merchandise, the officer said.

As security officers confronted the man and tried to stop him, the retired police officer identified himself as a retired law enforcement officer and drew a handgun, Railsback said.

The shoplifting suspect failed to comply with commands and continued fleeing toward a getaway car, he said.

At some point, the retired officer fired two shots at the man while he was inside his car, according to Railsback. One of the bullets grazed the man in the neck.

The wounded man was able to drive himself to a local medical clinic to seek help, according to Railsback. His injuries were not considered to be life-threatening.

The retired officer remained at the scene.

"The person who fired the shot is cooperating with our officers right now as they try to investigate this further," he said.

Investigators determined the shooting did not appear to be justified and arrested the retired officer on suspicion of assault with a deadly weapon, Railsback said. His identity was not available pending the booking process.

He was described as a retired officer of a municipal agency within Los Angeles County, but further details were not available.

The injured shoplifting suspect, initially described only as a man, was also expected to receive a misdemeanor citation for shoplifting, Railsback said.

The investigation was ongoing.

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