Man Dies at Hospital After Being Shot By Hemet Police

City News Service Pristine Villarreal

HEMET (CNS) – Hemet police said Wednesday an officer fatally shot an armed man while conducting a theft investigation, but the wife of the man who died said her husband was not the target of the police search and was killed in “cold blood.”

According to Hemet police, the shooting occurred around 10:10 a.m. Tuesday in the 800 block of South Harvard Street, where officers were conducting a follow-up investigation regarding a recent theft.

While searching the backyard of a residence, officers encountered an armed man “in an adjacent backyard,” police said, prompting an officer to open fire. The man suffered a gunshot wound and died at a hospital.

Officers later discovered the man was “unrelated to the initial investigation and was a resident of the neighboring home.”

No officers were injured.

The wife of the man who was shot told The Press-Enterprise that around 10 a.m. Tuesday, police knocked on the door of their home in the 800 block of South State Street and told her husband, Christian Drye, that there was somebody in their backyard.

According to Drye’s wife, Shameka “Monique” Drye, her husband told officers that he would go into the yard and check. Drye also told officers that he owned a gun that was registered to him, she said.

Shameka Drye told the paper that at some point, an officer yelled “gun” and fired three shots at her husband.

“I saw my husband fall backward, blood coming out of his mouth. They killed my husband in cold blood,” Drye said.

Drye was taken to a hospital, where he died. According to Shameka Drye, it took Hemet police two hours to inform her of her husband’s death, the P-E reported.

According to the paper, the Dryes had five children, aged 1 to 11. Drye was a caregiver to his mother and worked at McDonald’s, his wife said.

“This was a good man, a family man, a working man. He did not deserve this, we were minding our own business,” Drye told the PE.

Hemet police said the unidentified officer who fired the shots was “placed on administrative leave per department policy.”

The Riverside County Sheriff’s Office Force Investigation Detail and the Riverside County District Attorney’s Office were investigating the shooting.

Anyone with additional information was asked to contact the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department at 951-955-2400.

Copyright 2023, City News Service, Inc.

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