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Riverside police recover gun of slain officer, say fingerprint found in stolen truck led to suspect

November 10, 2010 |  1:33 pm

Earlellisgreen Riverside police said a fingerprint found inside a stolen truck is what led them to the arrest of the man suspected of fatally shooting an officer.

The handgun belonging to Officer Ryan P. Bonaminio, which may have been used in his slaying, was also recovered, Det. Ron Sanfilippo said at a Wednesday news conference.

Earl Ellis Green, 44, of Rubidoux was arrested by police and FBI agents outside a Target store in Riverside about 8 p.m. Tuesday and was booked on suspicion of murder and a parole violation, police said.

Bonaminio, 27, was shot and killed after pursuing the driver of a stolen semi-truck believed to have been involved in a hit-and-run collision. The officer was shot after after he chased down the driver, who had jumped out of the big rig, and fought with him in a city park, police said.

Green’s arrest came less than five hours after Riverside Police Chief Sergio Diaz announced at a Tuesday afternoon news conference that $390,000 in reward money had been raised for information leading to an arrest and conviction of the suspect. The department also released a seven-second video of the suspect jumping into the big rig and fleeing the scene.

Witnesses told detectives they saw the officer and truck driver in an altercation in Fairmount Park seconds before shots were fired.

Court records show that Green has been in prison before. They show a criminal record going back almost three decades, including convictions for domestic violence, battery of a police officer, selling drugs and vehicle theft. In 2007, Green was convicted of vandalism over $400 and sentenced to three years in state prison.

Riverside police officials said they were not aware of an earlier violent incident that Green was allegedly involved in on Saturday, a day before the officer’s shooting.

A relative of Green’s told a Times reporter and other news media that Green tried to attack an uncle, threatening to kill him.

The suspect’s cousin, who didn’t want to be identified, said his uncle filed a report with the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department about the incident Saturday.

“He came down and chased him around with a spear, and then chased him around with his vehicle, trying to kill my uncle," he said.

-- Phil Willon in Riverside

Photo: Earl Ellis Green. Credit: Riverside County Sheriff's Department