RIVERSIDE, Calif. — A felon who was later found to have two illegally possessed firearms in his possession and was already on parole for assault with a deadly weapon when he led officers on a short pursuit sustained a minor grazing gunshot wound when he was shot by officers after he crashed into another vehicle in Riverside Sunday evening, Feb. 21.
A 60-year-old woman whose vehicle the parolee crashed into suffered a broken clavicle and ribs and was hospitalized after the crash, which happened at the intersection of Martin Luther King Boulevard and Kansas Avenue.
Sunday’s incident began around 6 p.m. when two City of Riverside police officers were patrolling the area of Sedgewick Avenue near Martin Luther King Boulevard in the Eastside neighborhood of Riverside and attempted to conduct a traffic stop on a black GMC Denali, Riverside PD has since said of the pursuit and shooting.
The driver of the Denali, later identified as Leopold Acuna Leon Jr., 27, of Riverside, refused to yield to the officers’ lights and sirens and accelerated away from officials in an attempt to evade them.
Officers initiated a pursuit, which headed eastbound on Martin Luther King Boulevard, with Leon driving on the wrong side of the road into oncoming traffic, according to RPD; who said that as Leon’s Denali came to the intersection at Kansas Avenue, he rammed into a black Ford Explorer.
“When the officers caught up to the collision and stopped behind the suspect vehicle, the driver reversed the Denali and rammed their police vehicle,” RPD explained; adding, “An officer-involved shooting then occurred.”
After the collision and shooting Leon was immediately apprehended without further incident.
“He was grazed by gunfire and … transported to a local hospital with minor non-life-threatening wounds,” said RPD.
The woman injured in the collision was also transported to an area hospital in stable condition.
During a subsequent search of Leon’s Denali officers discovered two loaded firearms, according to RPD. As a convicted felon on parole Leon is prohibited from owning or possessing any firearms.
Investigators with the Riverside County District Attorney’s Bureau of Investigation responded to the scene and assumed the investigation. They were assisted by detectives with the Riverside Police Department’s Robbery – Homicide Unit, along with Specialists from the Department’s Forensics Unit.
After he was medically cleared from the hospital, Leon was booked into the Robert Presley Detention Center in Riverside on suspicion of assault with a deadly weapon against a peace officer, being a felon in possession of firearms, evading police causing injuries, hit and run causing injuries, and violation of parole.
Online jail records indicate Leon remains in custody, where he is being held without bail. He is scheduled to be arraigned at the Riverside Hall of Justice tomorrow, Feb. 4.
This officer-involved shooting investigation is ongoing.
Anyone with additional information about this investigation is urged to contact Senior District Attorney Investigator Nick Franco at (951) 955-5506 or by email, or Detective Dan Mercadefe at (951) 353-7103 or by email. Callers can refer to incident file number 210005347 and can remain anonymous.
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Author: Trevor Montgomery
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