An allegedly intoxicated driver involved in a pursuit on the 15 Freeway in the Lake Elsinore area was killed after entering a residential neighborhood and attempting to break into a home, officials said Thursday.
The pursuit began just before 9 p.m. Wednesday south of Indian Truck Trail in Corona after a California Highway Patrol officer stopped a black Ford F-150 that had been driving erratically, according to a statement from the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department. After asking the male driver whether he was intoxicated, the man verbally threatened the officer before getting out of the truck and firing an assault rifle at him, authorities said.
The officer was uninjured and retreated, while the driver immediately fled, heading south on the 15 Freeway, deputies said. The interstate was temporarily closed Wednesday night due to the violent incident.
Riverside deputies began assisting CHP in the search for the man, and a pursuit ensued after the vehicle was located, officials said. The man allegedly continued to fire an assault rifle at pursuing units and a sheriff’s helicopter as he drove south along the interstate.
The Ford truck exited the freeway and led deputies into a residential neighborhood near the intersection of Villa Roma and Via Palmieki Court in the Tuscany Hills community of Lake Elsinore, according to the statement. The suspect then got out of the F-150 and continued firing his assault rifle at deputies, who then returned fire, authorities said.
The suspect allegedly attempted to enter a residence, firing his weapon into the home. Shortly after, he was fatally shot by a member of the SWAT team, which had just responded to the scene, the release states.
Deputies rendered medical aid but the driver ultimately succumbed to his injuries, officials said. His identity was being withheld pending notification of his family.
The deputies involved, whose names the sheriff’s office declined to release, have been placed on administrative leave per department policy, officials said. No deputies were injured in the course of the incident.