Suspect in police shooting charged with felony counts (updated)

The suspect shot by a Claremont police officer has been identified and charged for crimes related to the May 5 incident.

Marcelo Herrera, 24, was charged Wednesday with three felony counts, including assault on a police officer, unlawful driving or taking of a vehicle and possession of a controlled substance, methamphetamine.

The Claremont officer involved in the shooting has also been identified as Lt. Jason Walters.

Lt. Walters was promoted in 2013 from sergeant and has been with the department for 16 years with hardly an area of enforcement he hasn’t had a part in. He was selected as the department’s Police Officer of the Year in 2004 and the Supervisor of the Year in 2012. He is also the recipient of the Police Department’s Medal of Excellence. 

Mr. Herrera was shot by Lt. Walters on San Jose Avenue at about 3 a.m. on Monday, May 5. While patrolling the 500 block of west San Jose Ave in Claremont in search of a reported stolen vehicle out of Montclair—a white 1996 Honda Accord—Lt. Walters saw the vehicle in an alley between the 500 and 700 block of San Jose.

As the lieutenant drove closer, the car sped away at a high rate of speed, according to a press release. Moments later, police located the car, which appeared to be empty. When Lt. Walters approached the car on foot, Mr. Herrera suddenly put the car in reverse toward the officer, at which time, the officer shot at the vehicle striking Mr. Herrera, who was treated at the scene then was airlifted to County USC.

The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department Homicide Bureau has been contacted to investigate the shooting along with the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Officer Involved Shooting team.

“From the initial investigation, it appears our officer handled the situation cautiously,” City Manager Tony Ramos said. “But whenever there is an officer-related shooting, it is standard protocol to have an outside agency review and investigate the matter.”

Mr. Herrera’s case is expected to be arraigned in Pomona court, however, no time or date has yet been set.

– Angela Bailey


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