Retired police officer arrested after shoplifting suspect shot at Riverside Home Depot
A former Cypress police officer was arrested Saturday after authorities said he shot a shoplifting suspect in the parking lot of a Home Depot in Riverside.
The former officer, identified as Michael Munoz, 61, was arrested on suspicion of assault with a deadly weapon. Munoz retired from the Cypress Police Department in Orange County in the mid-1990s but maintained a concealed carry permit for a firearm, said Officer Ryan Railsback, a spokesman for the Riverside Police Department.
Police said the shooting occurred after a man left the Home Depot at 3323 Madison St. carrying several items he had not purchased. Security guards ordered the man to stop, but he continued to walk out of the store into the parking lot. Munoz identified himself as a police officer and told the man to stop, but he refused and got into a car with the items, Railsback said.
Riverside police said Munoz pulled out a handgun and shot at the vehicle twice. A bullet grazed the man’s neck.
Authorities were called to the parking lot about 4:30 p.m. Munoz cooperated with the investigation and officers determined the shooting was not justified, Railsback said.
“If it’s a theft suspect and there’s no danger to the public or the officer, it’s probably not the best time to use a firearm,” Railsback said.
The injured man drove himself to a clinic for treatment, and staff called police. The man, whom police declined to identify, was issued a citation for misdemeanor theft.
Munoz was released from jail Sunday after posting $25,000 bond.
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