Longtime resident suffering possible mental illness threatens family member
■ By Chris Smith / Advisory Editor
A San Jacinto man was shot and killed by sheriff’s deputies Thursday night, Dec. 20, in downtown San Jacinto after he allegedly threatened people with a knife.
The Riverside County Sheriff’s department has released little information on the officer-involved shooting, which happened about 7:30 p.m., nor by press time had it identified the victim who was rushed to an area hospital and died there from his injuries.
The initial call came in to police as a domestic disturbance. Varying accounts of what happened exist, but apparently the man was in a disturbed state of mind and could not be calmed down by family members. He also is believed to have got hold of a knife at some point and may have been threatening others, including a woman, who apparently was a relative.
A granddaughter of the man told Riverside County News Source that he was not threatening the officer when shot and that he had his hands in the air at the time of the shooting. She also said family members were near the man when police fired and were at risk of being hit by a stray bullet, though no one else was hurt.
The man is believed to be a longtime resident of San Jacinto and is known to many residents. The granddaughter indicated he was suffering from some type of mental illness that the family was trying to deal with by themselves. Witnesses felt obliged to call the police when the situation appeared to be getting out of control.
The sheriff’s department has not given its account of why the officer believed it was necessary to shoot the man, so it’s not clear yet exactly what happened. Meanwhile, police did say the unidentified officer responsible is on administrative leave per normal departmental policy.
The shooting happened on E.Main Street near S.Ramona Blvd. in what is known as the “four corners area” of San Jacinto.
In a press release, deputies did say there were “no injuries sustained by law enforcement personnel and there are no outstanding suspects or threats to public safety,” according to Deputy Robyn Flores, Public Information Officer.
She said the Riverside County Sheriff’s Central Homicide Unit responded and has assumed control of the investigation.
Anyone with information regarding the shooting is urged to contact Investigator Dickey at (951) 955-2777, or San Jacinto Police Department’s Station Investigator Janecka at (951) 791-3400.