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Reward Offered in Helicopter Shooting

Riverside police offered a $5,000 reward Monday for information about the New Year’s weekend shooting that downed a police helicopter and wounded its pilot.

A Riverside police helicopter was forced down late New Year’s Eve after being struck by three shots from two high-powered rifles.

Two bullets hit pilot John Fehrs in the foot and another struck the aircraft’s fuel tank, forcing the helicopter to land in a street.

“It was purposeful fire,” Police Chief Ken Fortier said. “It was a very cowardly act.”

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More than 30 other people were shot or stabbed in New Year’s weekend violence in Southern California.

Victims included a 17-year-old fatally shot at a New Year’s party in Pico Rivera, and an off-duty sheriff’s deputy who was killed in Victorville early Sunday, authorities said.

In Los Angeles, paramedics treated 25 people for gunshot wounds. At least 117 people were arrested in Los Angeles County for allegedly firing weapons to ring in the new year.


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