Fight between women leaves five shot, one dead in Hemet
UPDATED: Wednesday, May 19, 5:36 p.m., With additional details from Hemet PD.
UPDATED: Thursday, May 20, 10:36 a.m., With video filmed at the scene.
Originally Published: Wednesday, May 19, 9:36 a.m.
HEMET, Calif. — Authorities say a heated argument between a large group of women in Hemet escalated when someone opened fire, Tuesday evening, May 18. The fatal shooting happened in the 1200 block of Valencia Avenue, between N. Elk Street and N. Hamilton Avenue, south of W. Oakland Avenue.
According to sources familiar with the shooting, one of the women who was struck in the head by a stray bullet later passed away from her injuries after being airlifted to an area hospital. Witnesses have said the 27-year-old woman was not involved in the fight and was an innocent bystander to the incident. Friends of the victim have since said the woman was pregnant and leaves behind a young child.
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City of Hemet police officers and other emergency personnel were dispatched to the scene around 6 p.m. after receiving reports of a fight between a large group of females, Hemet Police Lieutenant Michael Arellano has since said of the deadly shooting.
While officers were responding to the scene the City’s Public Safety Dispatch Center began receiving additional calls reporting gunfire, with witnesses reporting hearing as many as a dozen shots being fired. Callers also reported that multiple possible gunshot victims were down and needed medical treatment.
Officials rushed to the scene of yesterday’s shooting that left one woman dead after she was reportedly shot in the head. Witnesses have said the woman was not involved in the fight that led to the shooting and was an innocent bystander. John Strangis/EN Media Productions photo
Video filmed at the scene by a witness to the fight and later obtained by RCNS (which can be viewed below) showed a subject, possibly a man, open fire into the large crowd, with several of the first gunshots caught on camera.
When officers arrived they found a chaotic scene with three people shot, including one woman with a gunshot wound to the head. She was found inside a light-colored BMW that was blocking the street. Witnesses later said the victim had been standing on the sidewalk when she was struck in the head by gunfire. She was then reportedly placed into the BMW by others who had intended to transport her to the hospital.
The woman was airlifted by Mercy Air to Riverside County Medical System’s trauma center in critical condition. Sources familiar with the shooting have since reported that the victim later succumbed to her injuries and passed away. Her name has not yet been released, pending notification of her family.
Two male victims were also located at the scene, including one who was found with serious gunshot wounds to his leg and back and another who was hit in the arm near his elbow. The more seriously injured victim was transported by ground ambulance to RCMS while the second victim was transported to Hemet Valley Hospital for treatment.
While officers were working at the scene they received information that two additional shooting victims had been brought to the Hemet Valley Hospital for treatment of gunshot injuries.
“At this time it is unknown if they drove themselves or were dropped off there,” said Arellano; adding, “In total there are five victims suffering significant injuries, all from gunshot wounds.”
Detectives have assumed the investigation, which is active and ongoing.
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The shooter reportedly fled the scene prior to officers’ arrival and was not located as of this report.
“While exact motive(s) are not yet known, there is no evidence as of yet that the shootings, which all took place at basically the same time, are gang-related,” Hemet Police Lieutenant Nate Miller has since said in an update to Tuesday’s fatal shooting.
“This is still an active and fluid investigation and no arrests have been made yet,” Miller said in his update; adding, “Investigators are asking anyone who may have witnessed the initial fight and/or the resulting shootings to contact them.”
Yesterday’s gun violence caused the Hemet Valley Hospital to be placed on lock down, due to the victims who were brought in to the hospital and the gunman being at large. The hospital’s lockdown was lifted about thirty minutes, allowing the facility to return to normal operations.
Anyone with information related to this shooting investigation is encouraged to contact Hemet Police Department at (951) 765-2400. Callers can remain anonymous.
This is a developing story that will be updated as new information becomes available.
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John Strangis/EN Media productions photos above, video below.
Contact the writer: [email protected]
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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