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Nick Hamilton, 19
Hemet, California
December 20, 2016

Agencies: Riverside County Sheriff's Department California | Hemet Police Department California

Last updated: 8 months ago

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Authorities have identified a man they say led Hemet police on a chase early Tuesday, Dec. 20 that ended in the armed suspect being fatally shot by an officer.

Nick Hamilton, 31, of Anza died at 2:13 a.m., nine minutes after he was shot by an officer, according to a release from the Riverside County coroner’s office.

The shooting near the intersection of Girard Street and Sharose Drive, according to a Riverside County sheriff’s news release.

“It was very loud,” said Blanca Manocal, 45, who lives on Girard Street. She said she was awakened by the incident.

“I hear the police going back and forth, like chasing someone on the street,” she said.

The area is just outside the southeastern edge of the city. Because of the location, the sheriff’s Central Homicide Unit was investigating the incident, wrote Riverside County sheriff’s Deputy Armando Munoz.

No officers were injured, he said.

According to authorities, a Hemet police officer tried to do a traffic stop on a vehicle in the area of Menlo and Lyon avenues. It was not clear why the attempted stop was initiated.

Instead, the driver accelerated at a high rate of speed and continued down several city streets, according to the release. A spike strip was successfully used to disable the vehicle.

Officials say the vehicle came to a stop at Girard and Sharose, where the driver came out with a firearm. An officer opened fire. Authorities have not disclosed what type of firearm it was or if the suspect fired the weapon.

The suspect was pronounced dead at the scene. Girard Street was blocked off between Stetson Avenue and Shellie Lane for the investigation Tuesday morning.

The Hemet police officer involved in the shooting has been placed on administrative leave per department policy.

The neighborhood where the shooting happened is filled with mostly one-story homes on dirt lots. Many of the homes are surrounded either by chain-link or cinder block fencing.

Manocal said after she awoke, she heard three gunshots. She said she went to make sure her children were OK.

“Sometimes the bullets can come through a house and kill innocent people,” she said. “They were fine. Thank God they were OK.”

Neighbors say this was not the first chase in the area.

“It’s crazy over here. This year we probably get three or four (chases),” said Rey Manocal, 55, Blanca’s husband. “I don’t know how many we’ll get next year, but I’ll be counting it.”