Law enforcement officers were searching Moreno Valley late Tuesday for one or two suspects after a deputy responding to an assault-with-a-deadly weapon call was injured. Several other incidents, including two homicides, appear to be related, according to authorities.
The violence broke out Tuesday afternoon at a Shell gas station near Sunnymead Ranch Parkway and Old Lake Drive, authorities said.
A Riverside County Sheriff's Department deputy sustained an injury that was described as non-life-threatening while responding to the assault call and getting into an apparent altercation with a suspect, Deputy Albert Martinez said. The deputy has since been released from Riverside County Regional Medical Center, according to KABC Channel 7.
A man who identified himself as Randy Greene told KTLA-TV Channel 5 that his mother was slain in the vehicle. He said she was a grandmother and described her as a woman who was always willing to help others.
"I can't think of nobody that would want to hurt my mom," Greene said.
Martinez said investigators were trying to piece together what happened and did not confirm whether the shooting at the gas station was related to the initial assault call.
Meanwhile, sheriff's deputies were at a home several miles away, where they were conducting an investigation. It was not immediately clear what connection, if any, that investigation had to the shooting of Greene's mother or the incident involving the injured deputy.
Officers from multiple jurisdictions swarmed the area and were searching the hilly terrain late Tuesday. The officers were being assisted by SWAT personnel in an armored vehicle.
At a third crime scene, deputies discovered a second victim in another home believed to be connected to the other incidents.