15 Freeway Reopens After Pursuit Shooting Investigation

The 15 Freeway in the Riverside reopened Thursday after it was closed following a pursuit of a suspected drunken driver who shot at officers, according to the California Highway Patrol. 

The pursuit began around 8:50 p.m. Wednesday when a California Highway Patrol officer, stationed out of the Riverside area, was on routine patrol and spotted the driver while traveling south on Interstate 15, approaching Indian Truck Trail, according to CHP Public Information Officer Dan Olivas.

The officer made an enforcement stop on the suspected DUI driver and the driver pulled to the right shoulder and during contact with the officer, the suspect became "extremely uncooperative," Olivas said.

The driver made verbal threats toward the officer and began making covert movements within the vehicle, prompting the officer to retreat and take cover behind a nearby barrier, Olivas said.

The driver exited his vehicle with a gun and began shooting at the patrol vehicle, striking the patrol vehicle several times and rendering it disabled, Olivas said. He then re-entered his vehicle and fled southbound Interstate 15.

A nearby CHP officer monitored the call of shots fired and responded to the location of the shooting, and a pursuit ensued.

As the pursuit continued, the driver repeatedly fired at the pursuing officers, Olivas said. The driver exited the freeway at the Railroad Canyon offramp and turned left onto eastbound Railroad Canyon, drover over several city streets until he stopped at Villa Milano and Villa Roma in Lake Elsinore, he said.

The driver stopped in front of a nearby residence and fled on foot into the residence, Olivas said, at which point multiple Riverside County Sheriff's deputies also responded to the scene.

An officer-involved shooting occurred but authorities have not said if the man was injured or killed but confirmed no law enforcement officers were hurt.

The Riverside County Fire Department's active incidents page indicated paramedics were dispatched to Villa Milano, the Press Enterprise reported.

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