Elderly Couple in Motorhome Carjacked and Forced to Flee Police
THERMAL – A suspect fleeing from authorities reportedly carjacked a motor home, shooting one of the occupants before being shot at by the police and ultimately surrendering.
After a suspect evaded the California Highway Patrol in the area of Highway 86 and Avenue 62 on Thursday April 10, Riverside County Sheriff’s Department responded to assist. The suspect was reported to be an armed Hispanic male in a stolen vehicle.
A report came in during the search that an armed Hispanic male was attempting to stop vehicles on Highway 86. While officers rushed to the scene, the man succeeded in carjacking a motor home occupied by an elderly couple. He then forced the driver at gunpoint to drive Northbound on the Highway.
Officers were able to identify the vehicle and attempted to make a traffic stop, which was unsuccessful. The suspect forced the driver to continue and the officers pursued the vehicle. Spike strips were deployed and the vehicle finally came to a stop south of Dillon Road on the highway.
When officers approached the vehicle, they heard shots being fired inside and the female victim fled to safety. The suspect attempted to retreat the vehicle and seeing the officers, pointed his hand gun at them. At this time, the officers fired on him and the suspect retreated back inside the motor home. Shortly after, the suspect surrendered.
During the course of the carjacking, the male victim was shot inside the vehicle. He was airlifted to a local hospital for treatment. The suspect, Jorge Valdez, 24 of Coachella was booked into Riverside County Jail in Indio for attempted murder, kidnapping, carjacking, felony evading, felon in possession of a firearm, and a parole violation. The officers involved were put on administrative leave per department policy.