Hemet, CA- On Friday, September 02, 2011, at about 3:45 a.m. a deputy sheriff, assigned to the Hemet Sheriff’s station, observed a white Toyota van, parked in a parking lot, near a business located in the 1600 block of Florida Avenue, in the City of Hemet.
The vehicle was reported stolen from the Winchester area approximately one hour and twenty minutes earlier. The vehicle contained three occupants, two males and a female, all were adults.
The deputy observed all three subjects exit the vehicle and walk toward the business. The deputy was able to detain two of the three subjects, a male and female. The second male, who was later identified as twenty-four-year-old James Esparza, a resident of Corona, quickly separated from the group and entered the business.
As the deputy was speaking with the two subjects, the deputy observed Esparza, who was just inside of the doorway, removed a handgun from his waistband and point it at the deputy. These actions resulted in an officer involved shooting. Esparza was immediately taken into custody and transported via ambulance to a nearby hospital where he is being treated for non-life threatening injuries. The handgun was recovered at the scene. Esparza is being charged with an attempted murder on a peace officer, theft of a vehicle, and possession of a handgun.
The other involved male and female fled the area. The female was apprehended a short time later and is being detained for questioning.
During the course of the investigation, investigators identified Amanda Chamalbide as the female who fled the scene of the stolen vehicle and the officer involved shooting that followed. Amanda Chamalbide, a 29-year-old resident of Nuevo, was later arrested and booked into the Larry D. Smith Correction Facility for possession of stolen property.
The male suspect is still outstanding. He is described as:
A white male adult, bald, with goatee facial hair, approximately thirty-five to forty years old, approximately five feet ten inches tall, weighing approximately one hundred eighty to two hundred pounds. The suspect was last seen wearing a white, hooded, sweatshirt.
The Hemet Sheriff’s Station and the Riverside County Sheriff’s Central Homicide Unit were called out to assume the investigation.
The deputy involved in the shooting is a six-year veteran. The investigation is ongoing. Per department policy he will be placed on paid administrative leave, pending the outcome of the investigation.
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