INDIO, Calif. - Felony charges were filed today against a robbery suspect who was wounded when he allegedly opened fire on two Indio police officers, one of whom returned fire.
Riverside County Superior Court Judge William S. Lebov set bail at $1 million for Eddie Joseph Rivera, 32, of Indio, who pleaded not guilty Monday afternoon to two counts of attempted murder of a police officer and one count each of possessing a firearm and prohibited possession of a firearm.
An Indio police officer was patrolling in the area of Highway 111 and Madison Street about 8 a.m. last Thursday when he saw a man, later identified as Rivera, using a pay phone at the Kmart shopping center and determined he matched the description of a suspect in an earlier robbery in the city. "We basically had a bulletin to look out for (him)," Indio Police Department spokesman Ben Guitron said last week.
The officer tried to get Rivera's attention in a driveway north of Highway 111 on the east side of Madison near a Stater Bros. store and a bank, Guitron said. "The officer made contact with the suspect, the suspect pulled out a gun and shot at the officer, the officer shot back," Guitron said.
Rivera also allegedly fired at another officer as he arrived at the scene, but both officers escaped injury, Guitron said. The officers were placed on paid leave pending an administrative review, which is standard procedure in officer-involved shootings, Guitron said.
Rivera was transported to a hospital for treatment and then taken to the county jail in Indio. He is due back at the Larson Justice Center in Indio on Dec. 12 for a felony settlement conference.