Victim shot in back in second Willowalk shooting in 5 days

HEMET — A male was hospitalized with at least one gunshot injury after a shooting inside Hemet’s gated Willowalk community earlier this afternoon, Sunday, March 17. Although there have been multiple reports of where the shooting happened, most reports indicate the shooting happened in the area of Waterside Dr. and Saltcreek Way, near the south entrance of the gated community.

Today’s shooting was the second shooting to happen on or near the same Willowalk street in the last five days, leaving many area residents fearful and locking their doors at all times. That shooting was also reported on Waterside Dr. by a nearby officer who heard the gunshots, and caused the temporary lock downs of two nearby school campuses; West Valley High and Harmony Elementary.

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City of Hemet Police and Fire Departments, along with AMR and other emergency personnel, were dispatched to the West Valley High School parking lot around 2 p.m., after a victim called to report a possible robbery. The victim reported he had been shot inside the Willowalk community and that he had then driven to the school’s parking lot.

At about the same time emergency dispatchers began receiving multiple reports of gunshots from nearby area residents, who had already been on edge since last Tuesday’s shooting inside the gated community.

A shooting victim is loaded into an ambulance before being transported to Hemet Valley Hospital for further treatment. Gary Rainwater photo

When officials arrived, they found the victim, who had sustained at least one gunshot wound to his back, witnesses at the scene later reported. Official radio traffic at the time indicated that firefighters at the scene initially requested an air ambulance for the victim. However, a short time later officials cancelled the air ambulance and AMR transported the victim by ground ambulance to Hemet Valley Hospital for further treatment.

Officials have not updated the victim’s condition and it was not immediately known if the male was an adult or juvenile.

As officers gathered information and details about the shooting, they began searching for three black males who were last seen in a black Honda with tinted windows and a spoiler on the back. The vehicle was last seen headed north on Sanderson toward Walmart.

Although an officer at the scene of today’s shooting said this incident was not related to last Tuesday’s shooting, witnesses of the earlier incident reported seeing a black male hanging out the window of a vehicle similar to today’s shooting. That vehicle was described as a black or dark-colored sedan.

Officers soon located the exact location of the shooting and detectives and forensic specialists were later seen documenting, photographing, and collecting, shell casings and other evidence related to the incident. Official radio traffic indicated that officers located shell casings from at least two different weapons, indicating that more than one shooter was possibly involved.

SEE RELATED:Willowalk shooting forces two nearby school lock downs

Hemet PD’s investigation is active and ongoing at the scene and officials have not yet released any information regarding this, or last Tuesday’s, shooting.

Anyone with information about the investigation is encouraged to immediately contact Hemet PD at (951) 765-2400. Callers can remain anonymous.

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

Click any image to open full-size gallery.

Gary Rainwater photos


Contact the writer: trevor.rcns@gmail.com

Trevor Montgomery, 47, moved last year 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 15 – but soon to be 16 – grandchildren.

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