UPDATE #10: 3 arrested, including 1 juvenile, following lengthy San Jacinto shooting investigation
Miguel Shannon / Epicenter News
SAN JACINTO – Deputies from the Riverside County Sheriff’s San Jacinto Police Station conducted a lengthy, day long investigation following an early morning shooting that occurred yesterday, Monday, Feb. 8.
The incident, which was reported to officials shortly before 6:00 a.m., occurred in the 1300 block of Avenida Garnette, around the corner from Park Hill Elementary School.
Many residents in the area reported waking to the sound of a sheriff’s helicopter circling the neighborhood, making announcements over their PA system for residents of a home to exit.
Numerous patrol cars could be seen at the Avenida Garnette residence, as well as in the surrounding neighborhoods, as officers searched for three suspects believed to have been involved in the shooting.
The victim of the shooting, identified only as an adult male, suffered what Deputy Mike Vasquez described as a minor “grazing” gunshot wound to his back.
Paramedics transported the victim to a local hospital after treating him at the scene for non-life threatening injuries. At about 11:00 a.m., Vasquez stated early reports that the victim sustained major injuries was updated and according to hospital staff the victim’s injuries were downgraded from major to minor. According to the victim, he was released from the hospital later the same day.
During their investigation, deputies and investigators interviewed several witnesses who reported hearing an argument between three male subjects and other neighborhood residents. Some witnesses reported hearing several gunshots being fired, Sgt. Robert Duckett wrote in a press release on Tuesday, Feb.9.
Marty Phillips, who lives near where the shooting occurred, said she heard several shots fired early on the morning of the incident.
“I heard between four and five shots this morning at about 5:45 a.m. or so, when my husband was leaving for work. I could tell they were close and I was waiting to see if I heard any sirens. But I never heard any so I just fell back asleep,” Phillips explained.
“At about 8:30 a.m., my husband came home and told me there was a bunch of sheriff’s deputies right around the corner and they had crime-scene tape up.”
Another nearby resident, Sabrina Davenport, talked about the shooting incident, after she saw and photographed a deputy taking up a protected position behind a shed in her backyard.
“It was very scary to know that this was happening right in my own back yard, where my kids and dogs play, Davenport said.
“It really makes you think about the people you live next to and reminds you how important it is to know your surroundings and what’s going on in your area.”
Residents from the normally quiet cul-de-sac, where the incident occurred, were reportedly evacuated from their homes by 12:30 p.m., as deputies and investigators searched the area for the three suspects.
Late in the afternoon, parents who have students that attend schools from the surrounding area received notification about the ongoing criminal investigation and search.
The school district sent messages via text, e-mail and phone messages to parents letting them know the students at the schools were on a modified Lock-Down, referred to by the school district as a “Secure In Place” or “Hold And Secure” status.
Parents were also notified that any students who normally walk or ride home along Las Rosas Drive would be required to travel home via a different route. Many parents, who became aware of the ongoing incident via social media, rushed to their children’s schools to pick them up; causing increased traffic congestion around the schools.
The affected schools included North Mountain Middle School, as well as Estudillo, Park Hill, and Hyatt Elementary Schools.
During their investigation, deputies developed information that led them to a house in the 1200 block of Da Vinci Drive, in San Jacinto, according to Duckett.
Law enforcement personnel, including deputies from San Jacinto PD and the Valle Vista Sheriff’s Station, aided by investigators, and a K9 handler surrounded the residence. The Sheriff’s helicopter, which had already been circling the surrounding neighborhoods for hours, again used their PA system to order the occupants of the residence to exit the home.
The suspect inside the home refused to exit the home, at which time a sheriff’s K9 was deployed into the residence, Duckett explained. The K9 quickly located the suspect hiding inside one of the bedrooms and deputies detained him for further investigation.
The investigation also led sheriff’s personnel to a house in the 1300 block of Avenida Garnette where deputies believed the other two suspects were hiding. According to Duckett, deputies observed one of the two suspects as he was leaving the residence and he was immediately taken into custody.
Deputies and investigators surrounded the house, with assistance from members from the Sheriff’s Emergency Response Team (SERT/SWAT). “After a lengthy standoff, a diversionary device was deployed causing the third suspect to exit the house without any incident,” Duckett wrote.
Deputies concluded their investigation and search at the Avenida Garnette addresses and surrounding neighborhoods at about 5:00 p.m., allowing residents who had been temporarily evacuated from the area to return home.
Based on their investigation, witness and victim statements and evidence collected at the multiple residences, sheriff’s officials arrested Edward Rudolfo Ybarra, 20, Corey J Kenneth Nelson, 23, and a juvenile male at about 9:30 p.m. All three alleged suspects reside in San Jacinto, according to Duckett.
Deputies booked Ybarra and Nelson into the Larry D. Smith Correctional facility in Banning for home invasion robbery, assault with a deadly weapon, residential burglary and conspiracy. The juvenile was booked into a juvenile detention facility for the same charges, Duckett wrote.
A jail records search showed Ybarra and Nelson are both being held in lieu of $150,000 bail. Both men are scheduled for arraignment on Thursday, Feb. 11, at 8:00 a.m.
Following the long and harrowing ordeal, Philips said, “It’s scary to have something like this happen so close to my home. But I think the sheriff’s department does a great job at protecting our citizens and investigating crimes.” Phillips continued, “It’s good to know they are equipped with tools like their (helicopter) to help them during their investigations.”
Davenport, who spent her entire day with deputies going in and out of her backyard said, “Our officers are doing an awesome job out there. I am happy to feel safe at the same time when such a thing is going on.”
Davenport continued, “I support our officers and open my home to them to do what they have to do to secure our community and make it safe. I am so thankful for the officers who keep us safe.”
The victim in this shooting incident and home invasion robbery, who wished to remain anonymous, talked about the scary ordeal the day after the incident.
“I fell asleep on my couch, while watching Super Bowl coverage. I heard a noise and saw that my porch door was partially open,” he explained. Worried that his cat had gotten out, the victim got up to shut the door.
As the victim walked to the open door to check on his cat, he saw a person standing outside his residence holding a gun.
“As I slammed the glass door, he fired his gun at me. The first bullet hit the door,” according to the victim. “As I twisted to run away he fired again, this time through the glass. As I turned and ran, a bullet grazed my back.”
The victim then described running into another room, where he encountered a second armed suspect who reportedly fired at least two more shots at the terrified man. The victim said he believed the suspects fired a total of six shots at him.
“After that, I ran into my garage and hid,” he reported. “Fortunately I had my phone in my pocket and I called the police, who immediately rushed to my home.”
Upon hearing that Sheriff’s officials had arrested all three alleged suspects in the home invasion robbery and shooting, the victim stated, “I’m very happy deputies caught the suspects. The police, and especially Investigator Janecka, have been exceptional and they all deserve the highest praise for their commitment and skill in finding and catching the suspects so quickly.”
Thankful to still be alive, the victim said, “I thank God and feel blessed that I was able to survive this. I know I am lucky to be alive.”
Although deputies arrested all three suspects believed to be involved in this incident, Duckett wrote this is still an active and ongoing criminal investigation, and he encouraged anyone with information related to this incident to call Investigator Janecka at (951) 791-3400.
Contact the writer: firstname.lastname@example.org
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