Deadly shooting between Moreno Valley family members called self-defense

MORENO VALLEY, Calif. — Authorities investigating an early morning family altercation that ended in the fatal shooting of one of the family members say the shooter was acting in self-defense when they fired a gun at the man, killing him.

The deadly shooting happened at a private residence on the 23700 block of Blackbird Circle in Moreno Valley early yesterday morning, Sunday, June 28.


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Deputies responded to the residence around 1:30 a.m., after receiving a 911 call reporting that multiple family members were involved in an altercation at the home, Riverside Sheriff’s Sgt. Richard Carroll has since said of the fatal encounter.

When deputies arrived at the home located on a small cul-de-sac they found a man suffering from a gunshot wound.

Officials investigating the deadly “self-defense” shooting of a Moreno Valley man say the assailant was fatally shot by a family member after breaking into a residence and threatening to injure the home’s occupants. Loudlabs News photo

The man, who has since been identified as as 43-year-old, Moreno Valley resident, Cesar Acosta, was transported by paramedics to Riverside University Health Systems Medical Center in Moreno Valley where he later succumbed to his gunshot wound and passed away.

A coroner’s release indicated Acosta was pronounced deceased at 6:10 a.m., about five hours after the shooting.

Based on the circumstances, Moreno Valley Sheriff’s Station and Sheriff’s Central Homicide Unit investigators responded to the home and assumed the investigation.

During their subsequent investigation officials learned Acosta, who Carroll described as “an estranged family member” arrived at the home uninvited and broke into the residence, said Carroll.


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When confronted by the occupants of the residence, Acosta “became hostile … while threatening to cause harm to the occupants”, explained Carroll; who did not specify the nature of the disturbance or how Acosta was related to the family.

As the altercation escalated, one of the home’s residents “used a firearm against the assailant” ending the encounter, according to Carroll. 

“At this point, the shooting appears to have been done in self-defense,” said Carroll.

The sheriff’s investigation is ongoing and officials have not released any further details.

Anyone with information regarding this investigation is encouraged to contact Central Homicide Unit Investigator Mullins at (951) 955-2777. Callers can refer to incident file number MV201800041 and can remain anonymous.

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Trevor Montgomery, 48, moved in 2017 to the Intermountain area of Shasta County from Riverside County and runs Riverside County News Source and Shasta County News Source. Additionally, he writes or has written for several other news organizations; including Riverside County based newspapers, Valley News, (the now defunct) Valley Chronicle, Anza Valley Outlook, and Hemet & San Jacinto Chronicle; 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 29 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 16 grandchildren.