Anza double shooting leads to hours-long law enforcement & SWAT response in Hemet – 5 arrested

Writer’s note: I wanted to thank the Hemet and San Jacinto Valley based community news reporting teams Public Safety Incidents, Hemet Valley Incidents, Epicenter, and Hemet News/ENMedia Productions, for their contributions of information, details, photographs, and videos of this incident. Without your ongoing help and assistance, I could never write my reports with the details I always try to include.

-TM

A double shooting in the unincorporated community of Anza Thursday afternoon led to a SWAT call-out at a home within the city of Hemet that lasted for several hours. Both victims were airlifted to an area hospital with serious gunshot wounds and one of the pair sustained life-threatening injuries, according to sheriff officials.

Five people, including three subjects officials allege were responsible for the shootings, were arrested and have been booked on a variety of charges related to the attempted murder and subsequent SWAT response.

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After an investigation, Francisco Carlos Ibarra, 33, of Banning, Jesus Gonzalez-Renteria, 36, of Perris, and Ramon Luis Rivera Pizarro, 37, of Perris, were booked into Cois M. Byrd Detention Center in Murrieta on suspicion of attempted first degree murder, Riverside Sheriff’s spokesperson Investigator Armando Muñoz explained the day after the shooting and arrests. All three men remain in custody, held on $1 million bail.

Additionally, Alex Gaspar, 39, of Hemet, was booked for being a felon in possession of a firearm and Machele Delpozo, 36, of Mexico, was booked for possession of stolen property. Gaspar was released the following day after posting $10,000 bail and no booking information could be found regarding Delpozo.

Additional charges could be filed.

Deputies assigned to the Hemet Station were dispatched to a large property on the 54500 block of Moraza Road, just south of Highway 371, about 3:15 p.m., after receiving reports of an assault with a deadly weapon. A 911 caller reported the suspects fled the scene in a vehicle.

When deputies arrived at the scene they discovered two men who had sustained gunshot injuries. Deputies immediately summoned Cal Fire/Riverside County Fire and American Medical Response to treat the victims’ wounds. Based on the severity of the men’s injuries officials at the scene requested Mercy Air Ambulance respond to life-flight the pair to a hospital.

“One victim suffered life-threatening injuries and the other victim’s injuries were non-life threatening,” Muñoz later explained.

Countless patrol officers, SWAT members, and other officials converge on a Hemet home after a double shooting in Anza. Timothy Franzese/Public Safety Incidents photo

While officials were still heading to the scene from surrounding areas, responding deputies observed a vehicle matching a description of the suspect’s vehicle.

Deputies began following the vehicle while calling for back up and additional resources. Based on the circumstances, members of the Sheriff’s SWAT team, aviation unit, K-9 unit, and Hemet PD began converging on the suspect vehicle as it approached and then entered the city of Hemet.

As the suspect’s vehicle got into the area of State St. and Kimball Ave., aviation members in Star-9 updated responding Hemet PD officers that one of the vehicle’s occupants had fled on foot from the vehicle, which reportedly continued on to a private residence on the 200 block of S. State St. near the intersection of Acacia.

The subject who fled was apprehended and reportedly transported to an area hospital for treatment of injuries he received while being captured. Officials have not disclosed the nature or extent of the person’s injuries.

While officials apprehended the fleeing man other deputies and officers continued following the vehicle, where the remaining occupants fled into a home as officials converged on the residence.

After the alleged suspects fled into the State St. home, more than a dozen marked and unmarked patrol and special teams’ vehicles lined up outside the residence, and heavily armed officials were seen taking up protected positions behind vehicles, trees, homes, and other buildings.

While officials were cautious not to call the incident a “barricaded situation” or standoff, the hours-long incident led to a massive law enforcement response that included SWAT and Drug Task Force members, as well as the Sheriff’s Hazardous Device Team, Special Enforcement Bureau, and Crisis Negotiators.

SWAT snipers take aim at a Hemet home during an hours-long incident that began after a double-shooting in Anza.William Hayes/OC Hawk News

SWAT snipers were soon spotted taking up positions on rooftops as well as on top of unmarked SUV’s, with vantage points of the front, rear, and sides of the home.

While Star-9 circled overhead, officials armed with handguns, shotguns, and rifles began using their PA systems to hail the occupants of the home, ordering them to exit and surrender to law enforcement officials outside, speaking alternately in both English and Spanish.

As the high-profile incident was unfolding, officials quickly established a huge crime scene, reportedly cordoning off four entire city blocks with crime scene tape. Officials were stationed at each intersection to keep area residents and curious onlookers away from the dangerous scene, which also prevented area residents from leaving or returning to their homes throughout the rest of the day and much of the evening.

All the law enforcement activity, sirens, and circling helicopter quickly caused area residents to take to social media, searching for details and information related to the incident. Many residents who live in the area shared stories, photos, and videos of what they were seeing while others complained about not being let back onto their streets or into their homes until the incident was resolved.

Prior to issuing his subsequent press release, Muñoz described the incident as a “narcotics-related investigation,” making no mention of the Anza shooting that led to the SWAT response in Hemet.

HPD’s Special Operations Unit soon responded to the home with an armored tactical rescue vehicle, which was later used to approach the front of the residence while providing armored protection to officials.

As the incident continued, officials detained numerous people who eventually came out of a home on the 200 block of State St. Timothy Franzese/Public Safety Incidents photo

Numerous subjects eventually came out of the home and were detained, including at least two women and an infant. One of the two women was later arrested and charged with possession of stolen property related to the incident. No information about the infant was readily available.

As the incident continued, a Sheriff’s robot was eventually used to enter and clear the residence before SWAT members moved in for a final sweep of the home.

After the home was cleared, officials secured the crime scene and waited on investigators to arrive. This is an active investigation and no additional information is available.

Several hours later, long after nightfall, investigators obtained and served a search warrant at the home, at which time investigators, forensic technicians, and other officials collected evidence related to their shooting and narcotics investigation, which is active and ongoing.

Anyone with additional information is encouraged to contact Investigator Mark Janecka at the Hemet Station at (951) 791-3400. Callers can refer to incident file number D182140054 and can remain anonymous. Citizens may also submit a tip using the Sheriff’s CrimeTips online form.

Click any image to open full-size gallery.

Timothy Franzese/Public Safety Incidents video

Will Whelan/Hemet Valley Incidents video

Click here to see two EN Media Production’s videos of this incident.

 

Contact the writer: trevor.rcns@gmail.com

Trevor Montgomery, 47, recently moved to the Intermountain area of Shasta County from Riverside County and runs Riverside County News Source and Shasta County News Source. Additionally, he writes for several other news organizations, including Riverside County based newspapers, Valley News, The Valley Chronicle and Anza Valley Outlook, as well as Bonsall/Fallbrook Village News in San Diego County and The Mountain Echo in Shasta County.

Trevor spent 10 years in the U.S. Army as an Orthopedic Specialist before joining the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department in 1998. He was medically retired after losing his leg, breaking his back and suffering both spinal cord and brain injuries in an off-duty accident. (Click here to see segment of Discovery Channel documentary of Trevor’s accident.)

During his time with the sheriff’s department, Trevor worked at several different stations, including Robert Presley Detention Center, Southwest Station in Temecula, Hemet/Valle Vista Station, Ben Clark Public Safety Training Center and Lake Elsinore Station, along with other locations.

Trevor’s assignments included Corrections, Patrol, DUI Enforcement, Boat and Personal Water-Craft based Lake Patrol, Off-Road Vehicle Enforcement, Problem Oriented Policing Team and Personnel/Background Investigations. He finished his career while working as a Sex Crimes and Child Abuse Investigator and was a court-designated expert in child abuse and child sex-related crimes.

Trevor has been married for more than 27 years and was a foster parent to more than 60 children over 13 years. He is now an adoptive parent and his “fluid family” boasts 13 children and 14 – soon to be 16 – grandchildren.

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