Felon Shot by Riverside Cops During Warrant Service Sentenced

City News Service Pristine Villarreal

RIVERSIDE (CNS) – A parolee who was shot by Riverside police officers serving him with an arrest warrant after he successfully eluded them during a chase was sentenced Monday to four years in state prison.

Xavier Daniel Lopez, 31, of Moreno Valley pleaded guilty in November to resisting arrest, being a felon in possession of a firearm, felony evading and parole violations. In exchange for the admissions, the Riverside County District Attorney’s Office dropped charges of brandishing a gun not in self defense, and a separate but related gun possession allegation.

Superior Court Judge John Molloy certified the terms of the plea agreement and imposed the sentence stipulated by the prosecution and defendant, who represented himself in court proceedings.

Lopez was shot once by a patrolman on Jan. 26, 2021, outside a home in the 4600 block of Tomlinson Avenue, near Cook Avenue.

According to Riverside police officer Ryan Railsback, investigators tracked the convicted felon to the residence, where he had been staying since successfully eluding officers during a pursuit a week earlier.

Patrol units had tried to stop Lopez to arrest him based on a warrant connected to a 2019 vehicle theft case, on which he’d failed to appear in court. The defendant was able to speed away from his pursuers in the area of the Riverside (91) Freeway and Adams Street, according to Railsback.

In a video posted on social media in April 2021, police Chief Larry Gonzalez said bodycam video showed Lopez pulling a gun from the inside pocket of his trench coat before he was shot by the officer.

Just before the shooting, an officer is heard on the video saying, “Hey, Xavier, it’s the cops. Take your hands out of your pockets, bro. Hands up! Hands up!”

Two shots were fired, one of which struck Lopez in the upper body, causing him to fall to the ground.

“He’s got a gun,” an officer yelled after the shooting.

No law enforcement personnel were injured.

The video then showed officers using scissors to cut a handgun out of Lopez’s coat before rendering medical aid.

Lopez underwent surgery at Riverside Community Hospital, where he recuperated for two weeks before being booked into the Robert Presley Jail in Riverside.

According to court records, the convicted felon had prior convictions for receiving a stolen vehicle, assault with a gun and possession of controlled substances.

Copyright 2023, City News Service, Inc.

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