CATHEDRAL CITY, Calif. - A Cathedral City man was killed in an officer-involved shooting in the city Sunday morning. Wishing Well Trail near Ortega Road was closed while the Riverside County Sheriff's Department conducted an investigation.
Cathedral City Police said officers responded to a domestic violence call just before 6:30 a.m. Sunday morning on the 33000 block of Wishing Well Trail. According to police, the caller said her boyfriend had assaulted her and had a handgun. Once officers arrived, they found the woman had escaped the home.
During their interview with her near the front of the driveway, officers said the suspect came outside with the gun drawn.
"In the process of doing the investigation, the suspect came out of the house and pointed the firearm at officers and the female. Officers engaged the suspect and asked him to drop the gun several times. He refused and continued to point the gun," Commander Julio Luna told reporter Katie Widner at the scene. "An officer-involved shooting occurred. The subject was injured and was transported to Desert (Regional) Hospital shortly after by paramedics and unfortunately succumbed to his injuries at the hospital."
Luna said the suspect did not fire any shots.
According to police, officers discovered the handgun displayed by the suspect was a replica firearm. The replica had all safety markings indicating it was replica removed and appeared to have been purposely altered to look as a functional firearm.
The suspect's girlfriend was also taken to the hospital for her injuries. The nature of them and how she received them were unknown, as was an update on her condition.
Neighbors told our crew at the scene that they heard gunshots this morning and that there was a group of individuals drinking and partying from 5 p.m. last night to 6 a.m. this morning.
Neighbors said they were surprised to hear the news.
"We were woken up with knocking on the door around 7 in the morning. We noticed they had taped the area around," said one neighbor who did not want to be identified. "We have never heard of anything like this happening before."
It's unknown whether the suspect was known to police, or if officers had responded to the home for previous calls.
The Riverside County Sheriff's Department has taken over the investigation.
"The rest of the investigation- at least the shooting portion- is going to be handled by the Riverside County Sheriff's Department," Luna said. "That's something that we contract with them and we have an understanding with them. They'll come out and investigate such shootings."
This was the third shooting in the Coachella Valley over the weekend.
Deputies are investigating a shooting in Mecca that left one person dead early Sunday morning and an 18-year-old man was left in critical condition in a gang-related shooting in Cathedral City on Friday night.
Stay tuned to KESQ News Channel 3 & CBS Local 2 for the latest updates on this story.
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