RIVERSIDE COUNTY SHERIFF’S DEPARTMENT
Sheriff Chad Bianco
|Press Release:||Deputy Involved Shooting|
|Written Date:||April 9, 2021||Time:||8:47 AM|
|Incident Date:||April 9, 2021||Time:||1:30 PM|
|Incident Location:||Whitewater Cutoff / Whitewater Canyon Road, Unincorporated area of Riverside County|
|Reporting Officer:||Sergeant Lionel Murphy, Public Information Officer|
The suspect has been identified as Gabriel Munoz Jr, a 40 year old resident of Cathedral City.
On April 9, 2021, at 8:47 AM, Cabazon Sheriff Station deputies received a vandalism call for service in the area of Whitewater Cutoff, north of the Interstate 10-freeway, in the unincorporated area of Riverside County. Responding deputies received information that the suspect, had intentionally broken the driver side window of a passing vehicle as it traveled on Whitewater Cutoff east of Whitewater Canyon Road.
Due to the location of the incident, California Highway Patrol (CHP) advised they would respond. Before CHP’s arrival, a Sheriff’s Department K-9 Deputy, who was in the area of the call, saw the suspect vandalizing a vehicle that was stopped in the road way on Whitewater Cutoff. The suspect was using several objects, including a tire iron, to damage the vehicle. The deputy contacted the suspect to stop the vandalism, but the suspect ignored his commands and walked away from the deputy toward the interstate 10-freeway with the tire iron in his possession.
As the suspect walked toward the freeway, the deputy drove his marked patrol unit onto the freeway to stop traffic for the suspect’s safety. As the suspect walked onto the westbound traffic lanes, the deputy exited his patrol unit and ordered the suspect to drop the weapon and to leave the roadway. Despite the deputy’s commands, the suspect charged toward the deputy with the tire iron and a deputy involved shooting occurred. The suspect was hit by the gunfire and despite life saving measures performed by the deputies on scene and American Medical Response (AMR), he was pronounced deceased on scene by medical personnel. The tire iron was located at the scene. The name of the suspect will not be released pending next of kin notification.
No deputies were injured during this incident. There are no outstanding suspects and there is no threat to the public.
The involved deputy will be placed on administrative leave per Department policy. The name of the involved deputy will not be released at this time.
An Investigator from the Riverside County District Attorney’s Office will lead this investigation, aided by the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department Force Investigations Detail. This is an active and on-going investigation. Anyone with information regarding this incident is encouraged to contact District Attorney Investigator Moreno at 951-955-5506 or Riverside Sheriff Investigator Moody at 951-955-2777.
For media inquiries regarding this incident please contact the Media Information Bureau.