|Officer Ryan Bonaminio was killed chasing a hit-run suspect.|
RIVERSIDE, Calif. — Authorities searched yesterday for a truck driver accused of killing a police officer during a gunfight after the lawman stopped the trucker for a hit-and-run accident.
Police say they found a tractor from an 18-wheeler but had not determined whether it was the one involved in the death of Officer Ryan Bonaminio on Sunday night.
Yellow tape and patrol cars blocked access to the park where the Riverside officer was found shot, as investigators and search dogs combed the area for clues.
Authorities said the suspect fled in the truck but did not say whether they believe the person remained in the park.
Bonaminio, 27, was on patrol at about 9:45 p.m. Sunday when he pulled over a tractor believed to have been involved in a hit-and-run accident near State Route 60, police said. The driver got out of the truck, ran into the park, and was being chased by Bonaminio when the two exchanged gunshots, with at least one shot hitting the officer, Lieutenant Leon Phillips said.
Backup officers arrived to find him on the ground. A four-year member of the Police Department and an Iraq war veteran, Bonaminio died at a hospital. Police did not release a description of the truck, the driver, or what company may have employed the person.
Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger ordered flags flown at half-staff at the state Capitol.
Bonaminio, who was born and raised in Riverside, leaves his parents, a brother, and sister.