Search for gun-wielding hit and run suspects forces San Jacinto school lockdown

SAN JACINTO, Calif. — Details are beginning to emerge after a hit and run involving a vehicle that smashed through a brick wall, mowed down a back yard awning, and crashed into a house yesterday, Friday, May 7.

A subsequent search for two males, who were seen tossing a handgun over a fence while running from the scene of the crash, forced a school lockdown that was later lifted after the pair was apprehended.

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Deputies from the San Jacinto Sheriff’s Station, along with Cal Fire-Riverside and other emergency personnel were dispatched to the intersection of Commonwealth and Esplanade avenues around 10:10 a.m. after receiving reports of a hit and run involving a vehicle that had crashed through a brick wall and into a house.

As deputies were arriving in the area, they spotted two males running from the scene, Riverside Sheriff’s Sergeant Lionel Murphy later told RCNS.

When one of the subjects was seen tossing a gun over a fence, deputies immediately called for additional resources, including a Sheriff’s K-9, and called for a lockdown at nearby Park Hill Elementary as a precaution, Murphy explained.

Firefighters work at the scene of a hit and run involving a vehicle that plowed through a brick wall before crashing into and knocking down a wooden awning and hitting a house. Miguel Shannon/OC Hawk News photo

Deputies were then seen scouring the neighborhood and surrounding area for the pair, who they eventually located and apprehended, according to the Sergeant; who told RCNS the deputies also located and recovered the firearm the pair was seen throwing over a fence.

Once the two suspects were located deputies cancelled the school lockdown. Their names were not immediately available according to Murphy, who said that information was not ready for release at that time.

While deputies were searching for the two suspects, firefighters worked at the scene of the crash where they found an unoccupied Kia sedan that had come to rest after crashing through a brick wall, knocking down a wooden awning, and hitting a house.

Evidence at the scene and witness statements indicated the vehicle had been traveling northbound on Commonwealth Avenue at a high rate of speed when the driver lost control at Esplanade Avenue and crashed.

Witnesses who did not want to be on camera or identified out of fear of retaliation, said they saw two occupants, described as being males in their late teens to early twenties, running from the crash. They also described seeing one of the fleeing suspects toss a handgun into a nearby backyard as they fled from the area.

A Kia sedan was totaled in the hit and run crash that destroyed a brick wall and damaged a home. Miguel Shannon/OC Hawk News photo

To safely access and remove the vehicle from the back yard, firefighters were forced to cut down the remaining portion of the awning and cut it into small enough pieces for them to remove it.

Although there was no structural damage to the home, there was cosmetic damage and a sliding glass door was shattered by the impact, Cal Fire Engineer Peter Bosko later told Miguel Shannon of OC Hawk News from the scene.

Nobody inside the home was injured in the crash.

Click any image to open full-size gallery.

Miguel Shannon/OC Hawk News photos



Contact the writer: trevor.rcns@gmail.com

Trevor Montgomery, 49, moved in 2017 to the Intermountain area of Shasta County from Riverside County and runs Riverside County News Source (RCNS) and Shasta County News Source (SCNS).

Additionally, he writes or has written for several other news organizations; including Riverside County-based newspapers Valley News, Valley Chronicle, Anza Valley Outlook, and Hemet & San Jacinto Chronicle; the Bonsall/Fallbrook Village News in San Diego County; and Mountain Echo in Shasta County. He is also a regular contributor to Thin Blue Line TV and Law Enforcement News Network and has had his stories featured on news stations throughout the Southern California and North State regions.

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 30 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 18 grandchildren.

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