On Wednesday, June 26, a man was fatally shot in an unincorporated area of East Hemet. The victim was said to be breaking into a residence when the shooting occurred. The homeowner, who happened to be armed, shot the man in self-defense. The shooting took place in the 26000 block of Plymouth Street.
Witnesses have stated that the victim was intoxicated before breaking into the home. They also stated that the man was causing trouble in the surrounding area before the incident took place.
The Hemet Police Department was the first to arrive on the scene, answering a burglary in progress call. Sgt. Rick Espinoza, of the Riverside Sheriff’s Central Homicide Unit, was among the deputies that closed off the street and surrounded the home where the shooting occurred.
The Central Homicide Unit began their investigation, which included assistance from Coroner members, as well as the department’s Forensic Services Bureau.
Espinoza stated, “A suspect broke into the residence, which was occupied by a family. The suspect was confronted by an armed homeowner and a shooting occurred, which resulted in the death of the suspect”. He continued, saying, “There were no injuries sustained by the residents of the home, and there are no outstanding suspects or threats to public safety.” Officials determined that the homeowner had possibly acted in self-defense, and Espinoza commented, “No arrests have been made at this time, and the deceased suspect’s name will not be released at this time pending the ongoing investigation”. (Trevor Montgomery, Riverside County News Source).
This is the second self-defense shooting case in Hemet in the last month. On June 12, a man was fatally shot in the Lake Hemet Campgrounds. Investigators declared that a man acted in self-defense when he shot another man who he claimed had attacked him in his trailer, striking him on the head with a rock.
Residents of the San Jacinto Valley, we must take precautionary action, and keep the knowledge of our self-defense laws at the forefront of our minds at all times. Although these two recent cases were, in fact, self-defense, many people can misperceive exactly what self-defense is, as defined by our laws.
Section 505 of California’s Criminal Jury Instructions states the guidelines that a defendant must follow, to successfully argue self-defense in court.
These three guidelines that a defendant must establish are as follows: First, they reasonably believed that they (or someone else) was in imminent danger of being harmed. Second, they reasonably believed that the imminent use of force was necessary to defend against that danger. Lastly, they only used the amount of force that was reasonably necessary to defend against that danger. (The Rodriguez Law Group of Los Angeles County).
Be vigilant and be aware that anything can happen to any of us, at any time.
The author of this story can be contacted at [email protected]