Residents rush to aid of La Quinta victims shot by man who later shot himself, one victim dead

UPDATED: Thursday, Sept. 13, 7 p.m.

See original story below.

LA QUINTA — Officials investigating this morning’s deadly shooting in La Quinta say they have arrested the man responsible for shooting two people before leading officials on a pursuit that ended in Ontario, where he shot himself.

The shooting, which left one man dead and a woman with non-life threatening injuries, happened Thursday, Sept 13, on the 54-700 block of Avenida Vallejo.

SEE RELATED STORY: UPDATE: La Quinta suspect who shot 2, killed 1, arrested 2 weeks ago with weapons, explosives

Sheriff’s Central Homicide Unit investigators have identified Stacy Rowan, 56, of La Quinta as the man responsible for this morning’s shooting and have said Rowan will be booked into Riverside County Jail for homicide and other charges after his self-inflicted injury improves.

Officials also explained that early in their investigation the La Quinta home where the shooting happened caught fire, at which time Cal Fire/Riverside County Fire responded to the scene.

Not knowing the origin of the fire or what could be inside the home, while firefighters battled the blaze deputies evacuated numerous neighboring homes. Officials later explained the evacuations were called for “to ensure the safety of all residents in the vicinity.”

Cal Fire investigators are working with homicide investigators to determine the cause of the fire, which did not cause injury to any officials or citizens.

La Quinta PD and Riverside County Sheriff’s Central Homicide Unit are continuing to investigate the double shooting and officials have said no further information will be released at this time.

Anyone with information regarding this investigation is encouraged to contact Investigator Manjarrez of the Central Homicide Unit at (760) 393-3530. Callers can remain anonymous.

This is a developing story that will be updated as new information is available.

 

Original story

LA QUINTA — One man was killed and a woman was injured during an incident that began this morning, Thursday, Sept. 13. Today’s deadly incident began in a La Quinta neighborhood and ended on an Ontario street when the alleged suspect pulled over and shot himself, according to officials. The suspect’s condition has not been updated and is not currently known.

Several residents who live near the scene of the shooting who witnessed a bloody and injured woman flee from a private residence rushed to provide the victim medical aid as they hid in the entryway of a nearby home.

The home where the shooting occurred later caught fire, just as deputies were beginning to investigate the fatal incident.

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Deputies responded to a home on the 54-700 block of Avenida Vallejo, between Calle Temecula and Calle Potrero and west of Eisenhower Dr., sometime before 8 a.m., according to various sources.

When officials arrived they found the lifeless body of a man and summoned medical personnel to treat the gunshot injured woman, who suffered non-life threatening injuries, according to Riverside Sheriff’s spokesperson Investigator Armando Muñoz.

A home where officials say a man and woman were shot caught fire just as deputies were beginning to conduct a homicide investigation. Jeff Stenbrunner photo

In the aftermath of the deadly shooting officials determined area residents first learned of the incident when the female victim, who has not been identified, fled from the home with a gunshot wound to her arm.

Neighbors who saw the “heavily bleeding” woman rushed the victim to another home, where they rendered aid to the injured woman while calling 911.

Kim Gergen who lives on Avenida Vallejo, later told Desert Sun she was one of several people who tried to render aid to the woman who was bleeding profusely from a gunshot wound to her arm.

“I tended a little first aid to her and hid as well, because we didn’t know if the (shooter) was here or not,” Gergen reportedly explained.

Another area resident, 70-year-old, Jose Maciel, later said he was washing his truck outside his home when “he heard screaming just before seeing the injured woman running from the home,” Desert Sun later reported.

“She’s holding her arm and it’s bleeding like crazy,” said Maciel, who used a shirt to stop the woman’s bleeding while hiding the woman at another home. “You could see a bullet hole, definitely.”

The victim was eventually rushed to an area hospital for further treatment and she was expected to survive her injuries.

Based on their preliminary on-scene investigation, sheriff’s officials notified other area agencies to be on the lookout for a “person of interest,” believed to be heading westbound in a blue Toyota Tundra, CHP Officer Darren Meyer later explained.

A sheriff’s deputy eventually spotted the alleged suspect’s truck heading west out of the desert on Interstate 10 near Banning. When officers attempted to conduct a traffic stop on the truck the driver, who has not been publicly identified, refused to yield and officers began pursuing the vehicle.

According to Meyer, shortly before the pursuit came to an end the alleged suspect managed to avoid a set of spike strips in the area of I-10 near Oak Valley Parkway and the pursuit continued into San Bernardino County.

As the pursuit continued into Ontario the fleeing driver suddenly pulled over on Inland Empire Blvd., just east of Archibald Ave., where the man reportedly shot himself while still sitting inside the vehicle.

Officers at the scene reportedly pulled the driver from his truck and paramedics rushed the wounded man to the hospital.

Sheriff’s Central Homicide Unit investigators have responded to the Avenida Vallejo address and have assumed the investigation, Riverside County Sheriff’s Investigator Armando Muñoz, later said.

This is a developing story that will be updated as new information is available.

 

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 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 28 years and was a foster parent to more than 60 children over 13 years. He is now an adoptive parent and his “fluid family” includes 13 children and 14 – but soon to be 16 – grandchildren.

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