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Man sentenced to life in prison after shooting Cape Coral police officer

Yousel Rivera sentenced to live in prison after officer involved attempted murder
Posted at 3:12 PM, Mar 12, 2024
and last updated 2024-03-12 15:30:52-04

CAPE CORAL, Fla. — Yousel Rivera was sentenced to life in prison March 12, 2024.

He will serve life in prison for Attempted First Degree Murder of a Law Enforcement Officer.

The State Attorney's Office says Rivera shot Cape Coral Police Officer David Wagoner at a traffic stop in 2011.

“Today’s life sentence means the defendant, who was capable of such evil actions, will never again be free," State Attorney, Amira Fox said.

On April 16, 2011, after midnight, the state attorney says Officer Wagoner was driving a marked car. He stopped on Santa Barbara Boulevard. He approached the passenger side of the vehicle, asked for ID, and was shot three times by Rivera.

Two bullets struck the officer’s bullet-proof vest and the third bullet penetrated his stomach.

Officer Wagoner called dispatch to alert other law enforcement about the threat and provided Rivera's description.

Police dashcam video shows Rivera was still aiming at Officer Wagoner after he fell from being shot. The defendant then climbed over his girlfriend, who was driving prior to being pulled over, and started to speed off, as Officer Wagoner fired back.

Officer Wagoner’s details provided to dispatch helped other officers find Rivera.

Cape Coral Police Officers arrived on scene shortly after and helped save Officer Wagoner’s life. Following the shooting, the defendant crashed the car into a home and ran from the scene.

CCPD, LCSO, and FMPD found Rivera hiding naked in a trash can. He hid his clothes which was later recovered as evidence, along with the involved firearm.

"I absolutely will not tolerate any attacks on our law enforcement; such crimes will prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. This case is yet another reminder of the tremendous sacrifices that law enforcement and their families make for all of us daily,” said State Attorney Fox.