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Riverside Sheriff's Department Releases Body Cam Footage Of Fatal Shooting Of Joshua Tree Coffee Company Owner Royce Robertson By Deputy

INDIAN WELLS (CBSLA) — The Riverside County Sheriff's Department Thursday released body camera footage of the fatal shooting of Joshua Tree Coffee Company owner Royce Robertson by a deputy.

Royce Robertson Fatal Shooting
In body camera footage released Thursday by the Riverside County Sheriff's Department, Royce Robertson can be seen pulling out what appeared to be a firearm from his jacket. (Credit: RCSD)

According to Sheriff Chad Bianco, the department received a call at 7:25 a.m. Feb. 15 regarding an assault with a deadly weapon in the area of Simon Drive and Highway 111 in the La Quinta area.

According to the caller, a man driving a black Mercedes had pointed a gun and made threatening statements to the driver of another vehicle.

A "gentlemen just stuck a gun in my face at Chase Bank on the Highway 111," the caller said in the 911 call included in the video. "I did nothing other than slam on my brakes to stop him from running into me and then he got out and did this."

According to Bianco, Roberston asked the driver of that vehicle if he "wanted to die today."

When deputies first made contact with Robertson, Bianco said he refused to pull over and instead drove just inside the gate of the Desert Horizons Country Club before stopping and getting out of the vehicle as a second deputy approached.

"Shoot me, shoot me, end my existence," Robertson can be heard yelling in the video as he approached one of the deputies. "Shoot me, shoot me, or I will shoot you."

At that point, Robertson can be seen pulling what appears to be a black handgun from a holster in his jacket.

"What only Robertson knew, and what investigators later determined, was that his weapon was an air pistol that looked nearly identical to a real handgun," Bianco said. "At that time a deputy-involved shooting occurred."

A deputy fired several shots, striking Robertson multiple times. Bianco said lifesaving aid was rendered at the scene, but Robertson died at the scene from his injuries. Neither of the deputies were injured.

Bianco said the shooting remained under investigation and would be reviewed by the Riverside County District Attorney's Office.

(© Copyright 2021 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. City News Service contributed to this report.)

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