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Deputy Involved Shooting De Luz

Sheriff-Coroner, Riverside County, CA. Press Release Dated 1/5/2018

On Thursday, January 4, 2018, at approximately 4:00 PM, deputies from the Southwest Sheriff’s Station received a report of a family disturbance from a residence in the 47400 block of Sandia Creek Drive, located in the unincorporated community of De Luz.  Deputies arrived at the location and received information that a male adult (later identified as Robert Utley) threatened to harm family members while armed with a firearm, holding them against their will inside the residence. The family members were able to flee from the residence and reported the incident to local law enforcement.

Attempts were made to contact the suspect, but he refused to talk with deputies and threatened to cause harm to anyone who attempted to approach the residence.  From the onset of the incident it was learned that an adult male and adult female were inside of a guest house located within the 20-acre property. Due to the male being in possession of a firearm and threatening to harm anyone who approached the residence, the Riverside County Sheriff Department’s SWAT Team responded and assumed the investigation. SWAT Team members contacted the occupants of the guest house and safely evacuated them away from the property. During the incident, Crisis Negotiation Team members communicated with Utley and attempted to have him surrender; however, Utley refused and continued to make threats to harm anyone who approached the residence.

SWAT Team members made multiple attempts to contact Utley but he refused to exit peacefully. Utley was in possession of a firearm while SWAT Team members attempted to contact him, and a deputy involved shooting occurred. Medical personnel were on scene and provided medical aid and treatment for his injuries.

Utley was taken into custody and transported to a local area hospital for treatment of his injuries.  No citizens or deputies were injured during the incident. Investigators from the Riverside County Sheriff’s Departments Central Homicide Unit responded and assumed the investigation.

59-year-old, De Luz resident, Robert Utley was admitted into a local hospital. Once he is released he will be booked into the Cois M. Byrd Detention Center, in the city of Murrieta, for false imprisonment, criminal threats, and other related charges.

The deputy involved in the shooting has been placed on administrative leave per Department policy. The involved deputy’s name will not be released at this time. The Riverside County Sheriff’s Department encourages anyone with information regarding the incident to contact Central Homicide Unit Investigator Higgins at (951) 955-2777.

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