The district attorney’s office Thursday was investigating the shooting of a 35-year-old man during a police forgery investigation at a Buena Park motel.
The man, identified as Michael Joe Richmond, was in stable condition, recovering from a gunshot wound he received in the parking lot of Copper Barrel Motel on Wednesday night.
While officials refused to disclose details of what happened, a district attorney’s spokesman said Richmond was shot during a confrontation with three plainclothes Buena Park police investigators in the parking lot at 6532 Manchester Blvd.
Richmond, who was at Western Medical Center in Santa Ana, was arrested for assault with a deadly weapon on a police officer, but officials would not reveal what type of weapon he used.
Buena Park police spokesman Rich McMillen would say only that the shooting occurred at the motel where the undercover officers were conducting a forgery investigation. He referred all other inquiries to the district attorney’s office.
Deputy Dist. Atty. Wallace J. Wade declined to say if police officers had shot Richmond.
“I can tell you the shooting is related to the forgery investigation, but I don’t want to get into what, if any, (Richmond’s) involvement was,” Wade said.
Wade said that investigators still are trying to find witnesses and that he could not release any further information.
The motel’s owner, Ken Lee, said he heard five gunshots about 8 p.m.
“I opened the door to outside our office, and I saw a red car go by,” Lee said. The car came to a stop about 100 yards into the street and several police officers were in the area, he said. The car windshield had been shattered, and one of the tires was flat, he said. He said paramedics arrived and took the driver away. “It was like a movie,” he said.
Police had called Lee earlier in the evening wanting to know who was staying in Room 115, Lee said. Several phone calls came into that room between 7 and 8 p.m., he said.
Lee said a man he knew as “Gene” and a woman had been staying in Room 115 for a couple of weeks and had had several visitors, including the man in the red car, which he described as a sports car.
Police roped off the block and wouldn’t allow Lee into Room 115 until after midnight.
“I opened the room to see, and when I got in, everything was turned upside down,” he said.