By Trevor Montgomery, Riverside County News Source
HOMELAND — A private, online advertisement a victim posted on a popular website is believed to have led to the fatal shooting of a man who witnesses say was killed after he robbed and beat a homeowner, Thursday afternoon, Oct. 26. The homeowner reportedly shot his assailant as the man attempted to flee from the scene of the burglary and robbery.
The incident, which resulted in one man’s confirmed shooting death, happened about 4 p.m., according to Riverside County Sheriff’s Deputy Armando Muñoz, of the department’s Media Information Bureau.
Deputies received a report of a shooting in the 30900 block of Paradise Palms in the unincorporated community of Homeland,” Munoz explained in an email response requesting information. “We responded and located a vehicle which crashed into a home.”
When they arrived, deputies located a “male inside of the vehicle deceased,” said Muñoz.
Although sheriff’s officials would not provide any further details, citing the ongoing investigation, witnesses who spoke to the victim at the scene of the deadly shooting later explained the incident possibly stemmed from an advertisement the victim took out on Craigslist, which offered various jewelry, watches and other items.
According to the witnesses, one or two black, male adults showed up just before the shooting happened, with the supposed intention of looking at and possibly purchasing one or more of the items.
When the victim of the robbery and beating, who has not been publicly named or identified, brought out and showed the items for sale to the two men, they reportedly beat and then robbed him of the items.
At some point during the violent encounter, the victim told witnesses he managed to retrieve a weapon and fired at the two men, striking at least one of them. The man who was shot was later identified as the deceased driver.
Witnesses relayed that the deceased man was shot in the chest at least twice.
He was pronounced dead after being shot and crashing into another residence while fleeing from the location.
In the minutes immediately after the robbery and shooting was reported, witnesses described seeing a long line of sheriff’s vehicles – with lights flashing and sirens blaring – racing into the 55+ senior living community.
A sheriff’s helicopter was soon spotted circling overhead, as deputies quickly closed and cordoned off the neighborhood in an attempt to keep curious onlookers and others away from the active crime scene.
As the sun was setting and night was falling, witnesses at the scene described seeing an ever growing police presence as additional sheriff’s officials converged on the neighborhood where the incident happened.
Muñoz later explained, “The scene is active and our Central Homicide Unit is en route.”
The residence the fleeing vehicle plowed into sustained major, structural damage and was left uninhabitable after the crash.
According to other residents who live in the neighborhood where the shooting happened, there were two senior citizens inside the home that the fleeing car crashed into. Both sustained minor injuries such as scrapes and bruises and both were transported to an area hospital for valuation and treatment.
This is a developing story and will be updated as additional information becomes available.