The Imperial Beach standoff has ended with the arrest of suspect Ramiro Espinoza. California authorities searched for the 34-year-old man for close to 8 hours, following reports of gunfire.
Police responded to the area at around 5:00 pm on Thursday evening. When they approached Espinoza for questioning, he ran. The San Diego County Sheriff’s Department lost sight of the suspect, prompting the evacuation of numerous residents.
As reported by CBS 8, evacuated residents were provided shelter, food, and water by the Red Cross. Police continued searching the neighborhood throughout the night. Authorities considered Espinoza to be armed and dangerous.
Ramiro Espinoza is an ex-con with a long history of violence and drug abuse. As reported by the Los Angeles Times, he reportedly shot his girlfriend in the face and chest on May 24.
He immediately fled the scene, leaving his four-year-old daughter to tend to her injured mother. Espinoza’s girlfriend survived the shooting. However, police filed numerous charges as a result of the assault.
Espinoza was one of San Diego County’s 10 Most Wanted Fugitives. He was wanted in connection with several crimes, including attempted murder, domestic violence, felonious assault, and possession of a weapon.
A total of 22 homes were searched in an attempt to locate the suspect. The Imperial Beach standoff finally came to an end just after 1:00 am. Espinoza was arrested and is now in custody.
Imperial Beach was founded in 1887. The addition of sidewalks and the original pier in the early 1900s made it a popular tourist attraction. As reported by City Data, Imperial Beach is located just five miles from the Mexico border.
Crime rates in Imperial Beach are somewhat below average, with the most common crimes listed as theft and assault.
Espinoza’s assault on his girlfriend started a chain of events that lasted for two months. With the Imperial Beach standoff over, and Espinoza in custody, residents are now free to return to their homes.
[Image via Flickr]