Riverside Police Department
Press Release


For Immediate Release

Date November 7, 2001
Contact Sergeant John DeLaRosa
Phone (909) 320-8005
Fax (909) 320-8043


Officer Involved Shooting

Riverside, Ca-  On Monday, November 5, 2001, at approximately 7:21 P.M., California Highway Patrol Officers working a plainclothes assignment called the Riverside Police Department requesting assistance in the area of Crest & Hillsborough. RPD Officers responded and were told the CHP Officers were conducting a surveillance of two subjects in a stolen vehicle. The CHP Officers had information one of the suspects was a parolee at large possibly armed with a handgun. At approximately 7:40 P.M., RPD marked units attempted to stop the vehicle on Colorado near Jackson. The vehicle failed to stop and a high-speed pursuit was initiated.

During the high-speed pursuit the vehicle proceeded on City streets reaching speeds between 60 and 80 MPH, and on the 91 and 60 freeways reaching speeds of 80 to 100 MPH. At one point the vehicle crossed over the center divider on Highway 60 and made a U-turn. Later in the pursuit the vehicle entered the wrong way onto the off-ramp at Poplar and Highway 91. Officers reported several near miss collisions, including nearly hitting a pedestrian and bicyclist at different points in the pursuit.

The passenger in the vehicle was seen pointing a handgun at the pursuing officers, then firing the handgun at the officers multiple times during the pursuit. At approximately 8:24 P.M., the driver in the suspect vehicle attempted to negotiate a turn at California & Van Buren. The vehicle left the roadway, colliding with a cement standard in front of 9475 California. The driver and passenger fled on foot in separate directions. One officer reported seeing the passenger point a handgun at him. Two officers discharged their duty weapons, striking the passenger in the left arm. He was located hiding under a nearby carport, where officers promptly requested medical aid. An officer assisted by his canine apprehended the driver behind the business at 9485 California. Two handguns were recovered at the scene.

The driver was identified as Ernest Rosas, Hispanic male, 27-years-old, of Riverside. He was transported to Riverside Community Hospital where he was treated for minor injuries sustained from a Police Canine bite to his lower body. He was later booked into Robert Presley Detention Center for attempt homicide of a police officer, grand theft auto, parolee at large, ex-felon with a firearm, and evading arrest. The passenger was identified as Michael Palacio, Hispanic male, 30-years-old, of Riverside. He suffered a gunshot wound to the left arm. He was transported to Riverside Community Hospital, where he was listed in critical, but stable, condition after surgery. Charges are pending against Palacio for attempt murder of a police officer.

One officer suffered a knee injury during the foot chase.

In accordance with Department policy the officers who discharged their weapons were placed on administrative leave as is customary for all officers involved in incidents of this type.

Anyone with further information related to this investigation is asked to contact Detective Ron Sanfilippo at (909) 320-8051 or Detective Steve Shumway at (909) 320-8011.