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Pursuit in Hemet Ends with 'Exchange of Gunfire,' Police Shoot Suspect

Hemet PD Facebook
Hemet PD Facebook
A pursuit in Hemet ended with an exchange of gunfire early Monday, police shot the suspect and he was hospitalized, a Hemet PD lieutenant said in a statement.

A Hemet police officer tried to make a traffic stop on for a vehicle code violation at 2:36 a.m. Jan. 27 the area of Devonshire Avenue and Mayflower Street, Hemet police Lt. Eric Dickson said.

"The vehicle failed to stop and accelerated away west on Devonshire Ave. to south on Girard St.," Dickson said. "A pursuit was initiated and the suspect driver led officers on a chase through residential streets of southern Hemet at speeds reaching 75 MPH."

The suspect driver lost control of his vehicle in the area of Johnston Avenue and York Street, and his vehicle became disabled, Dickson said.

"As the officers approached the vehicle there was an exchange of gunfire and 
the suspect was wounded," Dickson said. "After the shooting, the suspect continued to resist the officers’ attempts to provide medical aid and arrest him. However, after a brief standoff he was taken into custody."

The suspect, identified as Rafael Rodriguez Diaz, 26, of Homeland, was transported by ambulance to a local hospital for treatment, Dickson said.

The suspect was still being treated as of Monday afternoon and his injuries were not believed to be life-threatening, Dickson said.

"There are no other suspects outstanding and no police officers were injured," Dickson said.

Diaz was expected to be booked on suspicion of felony evasion, attempted murder on a police officer, and being a felon in possession of a firearm, Dickson said. He also had warrants for felony evasion, being a felon in possession of a firearm, and a parole violation, according to Dickson.

Anyone with more info was urged to call Hemet police at (951) 765-2400 or anonymously at (866) 640-TIPS (8477).

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