Justice Center in Roseville, Calif.

Rafael Vital, age 27, sentenced on multiple charges

Roseville, Calif. – On Feb. 15, 2023, the Honorable Judge Horst sentenced Rafael Vital, age 27, to 30 to life in the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation.

In January, a Placer County jury found Vital guilty of attempted murder on a police officer, evading a police officer, assault with a semiautomatic firearm and other related charges regarding an attempted murder of a local police officer.

Traffic Stop

Specifically, on April 20, 2021, a Roseville police officer tried to pull over Vital, who promptly fled to Interstate 80. While on the freeway, Vital slammed on his brakes and stopped. The officer got out of his car to approach when Vital reached out of his driver’s side window and fired shots at the officer.

While the officer “feared for their life” they did not fire due to the danger posed to passing vehicles on the freeway. Vital fled, lost control of his car and crashed into a freeway retaining wall. After an extensive search and Interstate 80 being shut down, Vital was apprehended.


During trial it was found that Vital has a long history of criminal activity, including pointing a gun at a driver who “cut him off” in a local parking lot, a hit and run, child endangerment and more.

The jury ultimately found Vital showed a “high degree of cruelty, viciousness and callousness” and poses a “serious danger to society.”

During sentencing, Judge Horst recognized Vital’s “increasing criminality” and his “inability to be successful under probation supervision.”

“This case is a reminder of the dangers our officers face as they put their lives on the line every day to keep our community safe,” said Placer County District Attorney Morgan Gire. “We are grateful the officer was unharmed and commend the judge and jury for ensuring the defendant was held accountable.”

The case was prosecuted by the office’s dedicated felony unit.

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