Man killed by Desert Hot Springs police identified

DESERT HOT SPRINGS, Calif. - Police shot and killed a man Thursday morning after he stole a car and ran from authorities. He was identified this afternoon as 24-year-old Eulizez Rodriguez of DHS.

Just after midnight, a resident of DHS reported their vehicle stolen. A short time after, Desert Hot Springs police officers located the vehicle near Hacienda Avenue.  When the officer attempted to pull the car over, the vehicle led police on a short chase through local streets. The driver crashed the car into a row of mailboxes on El Cajon Drive and Ironwood.  Two suspects abandoned the vehicle on El Cajon Drive and ran toward La Mesa Drive. "One unidentified male fled the scene," said Commander Ken Peary from the Desert Hot Springs police department.  "the other male who was involved in the altercation was transferred to an area hospital where he died of his injuries." 

Officers confronted one of the suspects and ended up shooting him. They immediately called an ambulance, but the suspect died a short time after arriving at a nearby hospital. 

Police searched the area for the second suspect, who was described as a man "wearing dark clothing," but failed to locate him.

"The officer involved in the shooting is a six-year veteran law enforcement officer.  The officer was placed on paid administrative leave pending the outcome of the investigation," according to the Riverside County Sheriff's Office.

The sheriff's department took over the investigation. They set up camp and spent the early morning and afternoon collecting evidence and investigating what led to the shooting. Meanwhile, neighbors still can't believe it happened so close to home.  "Oh, it's very frightening, very frightening," said Erol Celestine.  "This is the first time that something like this has gone on on this block since I moved here."

"Seems like a pretty decent neighborhood," said Corey Koemans.  "I can't believe something like that would happen here, that's crazy!"

A tow truck moved the car out of the neighborhood. It belongs to Gary Gonzales.  While he's glad to have his car back, he's just try to make sense of everything that happened.  "Who won out of it?" said Gonzales. "Really nobody.  Somebody lost their life out of it.  It really wasn't worth that value to me." 

Click here to read the full press release regarding the incident.

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