RSO: Pursuit suspect shot and killed after opening fire on deputies

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Jefferson Avenue was blocked off south of Grizzly Ridge Drive while sheriff's deputies and Murrieta police investigated a deputy-involved shooting Thursday. Valley News/Will Fritz photo

MURRIETA – A man fled while sheriff’s deputies responded to a report of a domestic dispute Thursday morning, then led authorities on a lengthy pursuit that ended when the suspect was shot and killed by deputies on a Murrieta street.

According to Riverside County Sheriff’s Department spokesperson Tamrin Olden, a 911 call came in at 8:47 a.m. reporting a man brandishing a handgun during an argument in the 31000 block Borega Road, in unincorporated French Valley.

Deputies arrived at the home a little after 9:10 a.m., just as the man got into a vehicle and started to leave, according to Olden. The suspect was reported  to be armed with a handgun and possibly under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

The responding deputies initiated a pursuit that stretched into nearby Murrieta.

The Murrieta Police Department warned motorists to avoid Murrieta Hot Springs Road between Winchester and Margarita roads due to an “active investigation” in posts made to Facebook and Twitter a little after 9:30 a.m.

“This is a very fluid situation and (we) will update as soon as possible,” the department said in its social media posts at the time.

According to Olden, the deputies and Murrieta police tried multiple times to get the vehicle — described as a 1995 Ford F-350 pickup truck — to pull over and attempted to use spike strips as well as a crisis negotiator.

The chase continued several miles to an area near Jefferson Avenue and Grizzly Ridge Drive, on the north end of Murrieta, where a Murrieta Police Department BearCat armored vehicle disabled the suspect’s vehicle, and the man got out and began firing at authorities, Olden said.

The suspect killed when deputies returned fire, according to Olden.

Riverside County Sheriff’s Department spokesperson Tamrin Olden addresses reporters following an deputy-involved shooting in Murrieta. Valley News/Will Fritz photo

Four Riverside County sheriff’s deputies were involved in the shooting; no Murrieta police exchanged gunfire with the suspect, Olden said. Per sheriff’s department policy, the four will be placed on administrative leave while an investigation is conducted.

It was not immediately clear how many shots were fired during the incident.

Olden said the sheriff’s department will investigate the chase, while Murrieta police will conduct an investigation of the shooting.

No deputies or officers were injured in the incident.

The name of the suspect was withheld pending notification of next of kin.

Jefferson Avenue south of Grizzly Ridge Drive was blocked off Thursday afternoon while authorities worked to clear the scene.

Shortly after that, the police department tweeted they were in pursuit in the area of Jefferson Avenue and Kalmia Street, about two miles to the northwest.

This is a breaking news story and will be updated as more information becomes available.

Will Fritz can be reached by email at wfritz@reedermedia.com.

2 p.m. Thursday: This story was substantially updated with additional information from Riverside County Sheriff’s Department spokesperson Tamrin Olden.