A Riverside County sheriff’s deputy fired his weapon at an uncooperative 59-year-old De Luz man who refused to come out of his home and who was in possession of a firearm on Thursday, Jan. 4, sheriff’s officials said.
Robert Utley was admitted to a hospital after suffering injuries in the deputy-involved shooting and is expected to be booked into the Cois M. Byrd Detention Center in French Valley on suspicion of false imprisonment, criminal threats and other related charges when he’s released, according to a Riverside County sheriff’s news release.
The shooting happened about 11 p.m. Thursday following an hours-long standoff situation which began after Utley’s relatives called authorities to report that he had held them against their will inside a home in the 47400 block of Sandia Creek Drive in the unincorporated community of De Luz, sheriff’s officials say.
Those officials say the family members were able to flee from the home and report the incident about 4 p.m. which is what prompted sheriff’s deputies to go to the home and try to make contact with Utley.
“Due to the male being in possession of a firearm and threatening to harm anyone who approached the residence, the Riverside County Sheriff Department’s SWAT Team responded and assumed the investigation,” Riverside County sheriff’s Sgt. Chris Willion wrote in the release.
SWAT Team members were able to make contact with a man and woman who were staying at Utley’s guest home and were able to safely evacuate them, according to Willison.
Despite multiple attempts made by SWAT Team members, Utley refused to exit peacefully and was fired upon by the deputy during an attempt by the sheriff’s department to contact him, the release says.
The deputy who fired at Utley has been placed on administrative leave, per department policy, Willison wrote.
Sheriff’s officials are asking anyone with information about the incident to contact the Central Homicide Unit at (951) 955-2777.