RIVERSIDE, Calif. - A man was shot and critically wounded by Riverside police officers in a strip mall near a rental car center overnight, authorities said. Another suspect and two officers were also injured in the incident.
Just after midnight on Monday, a caller reported a suspicious vehicle with two people inside at the Town Square shopping mall located at the intersection of Chicago and Universities avenues, according to Officer Ryan J. Railsback, Public Information Officer for the Riverside Police Department.
Police said the area is a known hot spot for trouble.
"[In] this area we do have a homeless issue. We do have some gang issues and some gun violence in this general area recently. Our officers are out here proactive every night and that’s probably what these officers were doing. Checking something that suspicious here in the middle of the night just to see what they’re up to when this encounter occurred and the officer-involved shooting then happened," Railsback said.
When two officers arrived behind the Enterprise Rent-a-Car, the suspect’s vehicle crashed into a police car and at least one other vehicle was damaged outside the rental car location.
A security guard in the area also reported hearing multiple shots that morning.
The suspect behind the wheel was struck by gunfire and was taken to a local hospital in critical condition. The second suspect, who was in the passenger seat, suffered minor injuries.
Both officers suffered minor injuries. One was treated at the scene and the other was treated and released at a local hospital.
The investigation remains in its early stages and the Riverside County District Attorney’s office is leading the investigation.