William Hayes is no stranger to witnessing violence. Several years into his job as a videographer with OC Hawk, he’s covered his share of shootings and mayhem.
But on Monday he found himself caught in the crossfire of a deadly police shooting in Riverside.
He found a relatively safe spot, perched behind his vehicle and the concrete bridge of a freeway offramp and then he let the video roll.
“Oh my god,” he said. “There’s a guy with a (expletive) rifle. Oh my God.
“I’m in the thick of it. You know, ‘Holy crap.’ I’m looking around, seeing families running across the freeway. I’m seeing people ducking behind their cars, taking cover.”
Hayes says he tried to jump in to help officers, but was told to stay back.
“I wanted to go up and help pull that officer back,” he said. “That was the first officer they pulled out. And I just felt helpless.”
He captured the terrifying moments and later learned one of the officers was killed.
“It’s hard to comprehend,” he said. “We work with law enforcement on a day-to-day basis. And I’m close to a lot of the CHP Riverside family.”