A 44-year-old man and two teenage males were charged with attempted murder for shooting a Mount Vernon Police officer.
Ernesto Lee Rivas, 44, Austin Isaias Gonzalez, 16, and a 15-year-old male were each charged with attempted premeditated murder in the first degree of Mount Vernon Police Officer Mick McClaughry. Gonzalez and the 15-year-old male were also charged with attempted intentional murder in the second degree of Kyler Parker, who was injured in an earlier shooting.
The 15-year-old has been charged as a juvenile, but the prosecution requested to charge him as an adult.
McClaughry was critically injured in the shooting Dec. 15 after responding to a gang-related shooting.
Charging documents say Parker was riding in a car with several other people in the neighborhood about 5:30 p.m. when the car got a flat tire. The others left to get a tire for the car, and Parker was approached by a man in a red bandana. The man shot Parker in the neck.
The shooter, along with an accomplice, ran into the backyard of 824 North LaVenture Road. Witnesses said they saw Rivas, Gonzalez, and another male near the home on North LaVenture Road in the time between the Parker and McClaughry shootings. Another witness said during the initial shooting, Rivas was standing near his fence “yelling at the shooters that they needed to shoot at them” (the people whose car broke down).
When police approached the house on North LaVenture Road to canvas the neighborhood, shots were fired from the home, and struck McClaughry.
During a nearly seven-hour standoff, negotiators contacted Rivas, and “detectives were able to determine that it sounded as though there were juveniles in the background that were joking around and having fun,” according to charging documents.
Police took Rivas, Gonzalez, and the 15-year-old suspect into custody from the home without incident.
Officers interviewed someone who said she was Rivas’ relative and said he had called her and admitted he shot the officer. However, Rivas did not admit the crime to detectives.
When detectives searched Rivas’ cell phone records, they found text messages to “associates” about the shooting. One person asked if Rivas was ok, and Rivas responded,” No o (sic) just shot a cop.”
Rivas has eight felony convictions, including assault and attempted assault.