On Monday morning Feb. 29, a man was injured in a shooting that occurred at White Park in downtown Riverside. Twenty-six-year-old Cory Chenno James of Riverside and 25-year-old Leshawn Karisha Johnson of Colton were arrested on suspicion of attempted murder at a traffic stop the following Tuesday around 6:30 p.m.
“Since White Park is so close to where a majority of UCR students live, the city and school should do something to increase on-campus safety,” said Brian Kuan, a third-year business administration major. White Park is located at 3936 Chestnut Street and is about 2.4 miles away from UCR.
An argument that broke out at a downtown bus stop carried over to White Park. About 15-20 people were present in the park at the time of the shooting. Police were called around 11:19 a.m. after gunshots were heard. A witness told police that a man and a woman had approached a second man. After the woman accused the second man of stealing something, the man she had come with shot the victim. When the shots were heard, some of the people in the park ran for cover, while some others came to the victim’s aid.
After the shooting took place, a number of nearby government buildings, offices and schools in the area went into lockdown, including the Dales Senior Center, which sits next to the park.
By the time police arrived at the scene, the shooter had already left the area and was nowhere to be seen. On the day of the shooting, no description was provided about the shooter by any of the witnesses or bystanders. Immediately following the incident, a few of the people who were in the park were detained, but none had been arrested in connection with the shooting. The investigation ventured on after the victim, who had been admitted to a local Riverside hospital, muttered the initials C.J. From that clue, police officers were able to come up with the name Cory James.
An anonymous tip concerning James’ whereabouts led police to find him and Johnson at the intersection of 10th Street and Hanna Street in Colton, with several other people. After being interviewed and questioned, the two admitted that they were guilty of shooting the man in White Park.
According to Riverside police detective Mike Medici, James is Johnson’s boyfriend while the gunshot victim is Johnson’s ex-boyfriend. The victim remains in critical condition.