Tow truck driver shot and killed in Riverside after driver requests aid

Riverside police detectives investigate tow truck driver shooting
Riverside police detectives investigate the scene where a tow truck driver was shot and killed Monday by a customer after loading the person’s vehicle onto a flatbed truck at Bandini and Magnolia avenues.
(Gina Ferazzi / Los Angeles Times)

A tow truck driver was shot and killed by a customer Monday in Riverside after the customer’s vehicle was loaded onto the tow truck and a fight broke out between the two men, authorities said.

About 1:10 p.m., officers responded to the corner of Bandini and Magnolia avenues for a report of a physical fight and shots fired in the Wood Streets neighborhood.

When police arrived, they found the tow truck driver, whose name and age have not been released, with gunshot wounds, said Officer Ryan J. Railsback, a spokesman for the Riverside Police Department. Paramedics arrived and pronounced the driver dead at the scene, Railsback said.


Authorities said based on preliminary information, including witness reports, it appears that the two men got into an argument after the customer’s truck was loaded onto the back of the flatbed tow truck.

“That turned into a physical altercation, that then turned into the suspect producing a firearm and killing the tow truck driver,” Railsback said. “We don’t know if the suspect is from this area or the reason he called for the tow service.”

Railsback said witnesses saw the customer flee the scene after shooting the driver. Officers searched the man’s path with a few K-9s and found him a few blocks away about 15 minutes later.

The man, whose name and age have not been released, was detained and being questioned by detectives Monday evening.

Times staff photographer Gina Ferrazi contributed to this report.