Shooting Closes Highway 86 Hours Before Coachella Festival Starts

Shooting Closes Highway 86 Hours Before Coachella Festival Starts

A shooting involving a California police officer and a carjacking suspect temporarily closed Highway 86 in Coachella Thursday night hours before the annual Coachella Festival began.

The incident started with a stolen vehicle chase involving the California Highway Patrol and several deputies. The driver crashed the car, ran to Highway 86 and carjacked a motor home containing two passengers.

Two men — a carjacking suspect and a victim in his motor home — suffered nonlife-threatening gunshot wounds at the scene, according to Deputy Armando Munoz, a Riverside County Sheriff’s Department spokesman. In the hours after the shooting, it was unclear which of these two men had been shot and whom, if anyone, had fired a weapon.

No officers were injured. Munoz said it was under investigation if shots had been fired by a sheriff’s deputy or a California Highway Patrol officer.

At 1 a.m. Friday, Munoz provided an account of the “officer-involved shooting.” The spokesman said the male victim had been shot by the carjacking suspect, and although the carjacking suspect had been injured at the scene, Munoz could not confirm if he had been shot by police.

The highway reopened at roughly 2 a.m. today.