California Attorney General Rob Bonta is investigating a lethal January shooting by Riverside law enforcement officers.
Law enforcement agencies have not identified the shooter, the responsible department, or the identity of the deceased.
A District Attorney’s team suspected the victim of distributing fentanyl by Hemet’s Gibbel Park, according to a sheriff’s release, which also says the victim fled on foot through a parking lot after deputies and officers approached him Jan. 18.
The release says the unidentified man had a firearm.
The Riverside County Sheriff’s Department, the Hemet Police Department and the Riverside Police Department were involved.
The Attorney General has the authority to investigate police shootings of unarmed civilians since the 2020 addition of Government Code Section 12525.3.
A preliminary investigation showed that the victim might not have had technical possession of the gun, because the gun might not have been available for use at the time he was shot, according to a statement from the Attorney General’s press office.
Because the victim might have been unarmed under the Attorney General’s definition, the Attorney General’s office opened the investigation.
Sgt. Edward Soto of the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department media information bureau declined through email to name the victim or state whether the involved deputies are still on leave.[/wlm_private]