On Saturday April 16, 2011 at 12:41am Officer David Wagoner (a 4 year veteran of the department, husband and father) conducted a routine traffic stop on a Cadillac sedan in the 100 block of Santa Barbara Blvd North.
Officer Wagoner approached the driver’s window and made contact with the driver, a 17 year old female. He asked for and received her driver’s license. Officer Wagoner asked her male passenger if he had any ID. The male passenger, Yousel Lopez Rivera, stated that he did not have ID. Officer Wagoner asked the female driver to get her registration and proof of insurance as he walked behind the Cadillac and approached the passenger window to obtain Rivera’s information.
As soon as Officer Wagoner got to the passenger window, Rivera shot Officer Wagoner three times at point blank range. Two of the bullets struck Officer Wagoner’s ballistic vest. The third struck his abdomen below the vest. Officer Wagoner was able to draw his weapon and return fire. Neither Rivera nor the female driver was shot. Officer Wagoner was able to get his police radio and notify dispatch and fellow officers that he had been shot and he was able to provide a description of the shooter and their vehicle as well as a direction of travel.
As Officer Wagoner was relaying the information over the radio and returning fire, Rivera jumped on top of the female driver and began driving away. Rivera continued driving the Cadillac while sitting on top of the original driver who was seat belted in. Rivera crashed the car into a home at 1138 Santa Barbara Blvd North.
The female occupant of the car was injured in the crash as well as an occupant of the home. Rivera fled the scene of the crash on foot. The female and the occupant of the home were taken to the hospital with non-life threatening injuries.
Officer Wagoner was transported to Lee Memorial Hospital with life-threatening injuries as officers began an intense manhunt for the shooter. Cape Coral Police Officers, K9 units and the Aviation Unit searched the area for the suspect. Officers from the Fort Myers Police Department as well as Deputies from the Lee County Sheriff’s Office came to assist in the search as well as help handle the usual high volume of calls for service that a Friday night brings.
K9 Units tracked Rivera’s trail and he was located hiding nearby. Rivera was hiding appropriately in a garbage can next to a home. Rivera was then taken into custody.
Rivera and the original female driver were the only occupants of the vehicle. Both were taken into custody. The firearm used to shoot Officer Wagoner was recovered.
Yousel Lopez Rivera has been arrested and charged with Attempted First Degree Murder of a Police Officer. The female has not been charged.
Officer Wagoner remains in Lee Memorial Hospital and is in Stable Condition after emergency surgery for his gunshot wounds.
He is unavailable for comment as well as members of his family.
“Last night was a reminder to Police Officers and Citizens alike of the inherent dangers that Officers face. It is not a cliché when it is said that Officers put their lives on the line each and every day for their communities. We are thankful for so many things today. We are thankful first and foremost that Officer Wagoner is alive. We are thankful that a truly dangerous thug is off of our streets. We are grateful for the partnerships that we have with the other law enforcement agencies in southwest Florida. Thank you to Sheriff Mike Scott and Chief Doug Baker and the fine men and women of LCSO and FMPD that came to help us. And thank you to the brave men and women of the Cape Coral Police Department.” –Lieutenant Tony Sizemore, CCPD.
Yousel Lopez Rivera (01-24-91)
320 NW 3rd Lane
Cape Coral, FL 33993
***Chief Jay Murphy will be available at the ER entrance at Lee Memorial Hospital today at 2pm briefly to answer questions from the media. There will be no further comment on this investigation and no further press releases after that until Monday April 18. Thank you for your cooperation.***