MORENO VALLEY (CBS) — A Moreno Valley police officer shot and killed a suspect Sunday afternoon in a very busy park.
“I just thought it was fireworks,” said Yesenia Guitierrez, “Then everyone dropped, and they said it was gunshots.”
The officer was reportedly involved in a scuffle with the suspect at Moreno Valley Community Park outside a bathroom. The park was bustling. A soccer match was being held nearby.
Guitierrez said, “I just saw the cop shot him and he fell to the floor. And then other cops were coming and then with the guy on the floor they just started kicking him.”
Police were originally called around 4:10 p.m. because witnesses said the suspect was acting strange. Says Sgt. Lisa McConnell of the Moreno Valley Police Department, “the officer was responding to a suspicious person call. Which was a subject seen outside of restrooms watching children.”
When the officer confronted the suspect, witnesses said he resisted and started to fight with the officer.
With the help of a translator, witness Ronald Carrano, said he saw the officer and the suspect rolling around on the ground in a struggle.
The man got up, he said, and when the officer went for his radio to call for backup, he said the suspect snatched it from him. Through the translator, Carrano said, “The officer had no other choice but to grab his gun and shoot him.”
The unidentified suspect died at a hospital.
The officer has minor injuries but Moreno Valley officials declined to elaborate.
The investigation is on going.