1 killed, 3 Injured in East Oakland Shootout During Attempted Brink’s Truck Robbery

One person was killed and three were injured Friday afternoon in a shootout during the attempted robbery of a Brink’s security truck in East Oakland, police and witnesses said.

The attempted robbery occurred around 2 p.m. in the parking lot of a NAPA Auto Parts store on the 4400 block of International Boulevard and left one Brink’s employee injured at the scene and an apparent would-be robber dead, police and witnesses said. Two more people transported themselves to a hospital with injuries, including one whom police described as an innocent bystander.

As of Saturday afternoon, the wounded people who sustained gunshot wounds remained in stable condition, said a spokesperson for the Oakland Police Department.

Two people who said they witnessed the violence described the scene to The Chronicle. Robbers made their move on the Brink’s truck after one security guard entered the NAPA Auto Parts store, leaving one guard with the truck, said Rafael Barrazos, who sells used cars on International Boulevard and was walking across the bustling street near a taco truck when the shooting began.

“They waited till one of the guards was by himself,” Barrazos said. “The guns started going off right after. The way the bullets were flying I told everyone getting tacos to get down, and it felt like the bullets were going above our heads.”

When the gunfire ended, two people were lying on the ground — the person police said was killed was down besides the Brink’s truck, and the Brink’s guard went down in the roadway on International, just outside the parking lot where the truck was parked.

Barrazos said he saw an injured, shirtless man run from 44th Avenue toward the person lying next to the Brink’s truck, grab what appeared to be a gun from the victim, then jump into a white Toyota Rav-4 that fled the scene.

Oakland resident Elizabeth, who wished to be identified only by her first name, said the violence erupted as she was taking her daily walk down International between 44th and 45th avenues.

“I saw one man and then another — both with masks,” Elizabeth told The Chronicle, adding that the shooting renewed feelings of anxiety. “You can’t take your kids out when you like, you can’t put any jewelry on — it’s just gotten out of control here in our neighborhood.”

Before first responders arrived on the scene, a crowd of people tried to help the injured Brink’s worker, a scene captured on video posted on social media. A body could be seen lying next to the Brink’s truck.

Arriving officers pronounced the victim next to the truck dead at the scene, police said. The Brink’s worker was rushed to the hospital, police said. Two other men arrived to a local hospital separately, also with gunshot wounds, police added. One of those was an innocent bystander who had been struck by gunfire, police said.

At least 21 markers indicated bullet casings at the scene.

“We know that there was a white vehicle that was involved in this incident occupied by several individuals,” Oakland Police Chief LeRonne Armstrong said at the scene in a video posted by KTVU. Armstrong said the department is looking for video of the people in an attempt to identify them.

A person who answered the phone at the NAPA Auto Parts store declined to discuss the shooting and hung up.

A spokesperson for Brink’s said the company is aware of the incident and working with law enforcement but couldn’t provide any additional information. The company is a worldwide security powerhouse with more than 16,000 security vehicles. Some employees are armed with weapons to guard money and valuables during transport.

“It’s been a tough week in the city of Oakland,” Armstrong said. “We have seen several homicides this week. We ask the community to continue to help get rid of the guns that plague our community.”

The shooting marked Oakland’s 92nd homicide of the year, he said.

Click here to read the full article in the SF Chronicle

Sheriff properly obtained search warrants for supervisor’s home, judge says

Seized materials can’t be searched until a third-party overseer is appointed

A Los Angeles County Superior Court judge did not find “any irregularity” with the way the Sheriff’s Department obtained search warrants for the homes and offices of Supervisor Sheila Kuehl and other county officials, according to a hearing Thursday, Sept. 22.

Still, Judge William Ryan ruled he would not allow either the sheriff’s detectives, or the Attorney General’s Office, which took over the case this week, to search the seized computers and cellphones until he could appoint a third party, called a special master, to weed out any information protected by attorney-client privilege.

“I am going to appoint a special master because of the claims of privilege,” he said. “I think that needs to be overseen.”

Ryan originally had questioned why the sheriff’s detectives went to a different judge, instead of Judge Eleanor Hunter, who was already presiding over legal challenges to nearly identical search warrants executed by the Sheriff’s Department last year.

Previous court order

In court filings ahead of the hearing, attorneys for Kuehl and L.A. County Metro’s Office of the Inspector General accused the sheriff’s investigators of attempting to circumvent an existing order from Hunter that would have required a special master to participate in the raids and expressed concerns about the involvement of Judge Craig Richman, a longtime associate of Detective Mark Lillienfeld, a member of the sheriff’s Public Corruption Unit.

Sheriff’s Sgt. Max Fernandez originally tried to present the new warrants to Hunter, but she was not available, according to Ryan. The courts sent Fernandez to Richman instead and Richman chose not to appoint a special master, though Fernandez requested one.

“As far as I’m concerned, that puts to bed the issue of whether there was any irregularity in the obtaining of the search warrant,” Ryan said.

The targets of the searches have argued the warrants are overly broad and intrusive, but Ryan declined to rule on the merits of the probe, instead saying such a decision would likely be decided in the future by potentially another judge.

The Thursday hearing involved more than half a dozen attorneys, including separate representation for Kuehl, county oversight Commissioner Patricia Giggans, L.A. County Metro, Metro’s Office of the Inspector General, the sheriff and the attorney general.

Was Kuehl tipped off?

According to Ryan, investigators already have conducted about 50 searches — primarily from devices taken from Kuehl — and even worked overtime trying to determine if Kuehl was tipped off about the search warrants in advance. Kuehl, in an interview, said she received a text message the night before from the County Counsel’s Office about rumors that warrants would be executed the next morning. The Sheriff’s Department also has alleged that Giggans and her attorney greeted deputies at the door.

Kuehl’s attorney, Cheryl O’Connor, pointed to the rush to search Kuehl’s phones for the “tip off” as evidence the department was searching beyond the scope of the warrants. Ryan, in response, likened it to stumbling “across a dead body” while conducting a different investigation.

“It is a very serious allegation that the supervisor had been tipped off that this search was coming ahead of time,” Ryan said. “It’s potentially a felony.”

Lucrative contract

The Sheriff’s Department has indicated its probe is focused on contracts awarded by L.A. County Metro to Peace Over Violence, a nonprofit run by Giggans. Kuehl, a lifelong friend of Giggans, serves on Metro’s board of directors and also is listed as a member of Peace Over Violence’s advisory board. The contracts, which totaled $890,000 over a six-year period, never came before the board for a vote and were approved by CEO Phil Washington.

A whistleblower, whose complaints are the backbone of the sheriff’s case, alleges Kuehl pushed for the contracts behind the scenes. Kuehl has denied the allegations and accused Sheriff Alex Villanueva of targeting her and Giggans for their vocal criticism of him. Both clash frequently with him and have called for his resignation.

The Attorney General’s Office announced Tuesday, Sept. 20, it would take control of the investigation following a letter from Villanueva urging Attorney General Rob Bonta to investigate whether Kuehl had been tipped off. Bonta, in response, said he would take the entire case over because the two investigations are “intimately related.”

“In recent days, the public unfolding of an unprecedented investigation has raised serious questions for residents of Southern California and beyond,” Bonta said in a statement. “I recognize the deep uncertainty this has engendered and, given the unique circumstances, my team has committed to taking over this investigative process. Make no mistake: We are committed to a thorough, fair, and independent investigation that will help restore confidence for the people of our state. If there is wrongdoing by any party, we will bring it to light.”

Return of property

Much of the discussions at Thursday’s hearing revolved around how soon seized property could be returned.

The representatives for Kuehl and Giggans urged a speedy return of the computers and cellphones as their clients have suffered from the loss of the equipment. O’Connor, the attorney for Kuehl, said the supervisor was working from home and now only has access to a single cellphone to conduct county business.

“There is no reason taxpayers should have to purchase new devices in order for her to do her duties,” O’Connor said.

Attorney Austin Dove, who represents Giggans, said Peace Over Violence has been “crippled by this search warrant” after deputies seized both its server and the backup. The nonprofit is unable to serve its more than 600 clients as a result.

“Two weeks is death for my client,” Dove told the judge. “I don’t believe they can survive that long.”

Ryan ordered the Attorney General’s Office to determine if it could quickly digitally duplicate the devices and then return the physical hardware without hindering its investigation.

Susan Schwartz, a deputy attorney general, suggested Ryan order the Sheriff’s Department to turn over its investigatory records and the seized property within the next two weeks, but Ryan declined to do so, saying he wouldn’t force the matter unless the agency refused to cooperate. Fernandez, sitting in the audience, told the court his unit would meet the two-week deadline voluntarily.

Double representation

Though a sheriff’s spokesperson previously released a statement saying the County Counsel’s Office had fired the department’s attorney, two sets of attorneys turned up on its behalf, creating confusion in the court.

Click here to read the full article at the LA Daily News

Inside the Team Pioneering California’s Red Flag Law

There were four more requests for gun violence restraining orders on Jeff Brooker’s desk when he arrived at the San Diego City Attorney’s Office that July morning.

Officers had responded to a minor car crash at a mall where the driver, who carried a replica firearm, was rambling delusionally and threatening to kill the “one-percenters” and a public official. Another man, during an argument outside a family member’s home, had pulled a gun out of his waistband and pointed it at someone’s head as several others looked on.

It was not an unusual number of new cases for the department’s eight-member gun violence restraining order unit, which Brooker oversees. In an average week, they triage 30 referrals from local police, reviewing scenarios in which officers believe a resident is at risk of committing gun violence.

About a third of the time — in those instances when the person clearly poses a danger to themselves or others, and they aren’t already prohibited from possessing weapons for another reason — the office will petition a judge to temporarily seize their firearms, under a six-year-old California statute that was among the country’s first “red flag” laws.

More than 1,250 times since the end of 2017, when San Diego City Attorney Mara Elliott launched the pioneering unit, Brooker’s team has successfully filed a gun violence restraining order, leading to the seizure, as of April, of nearly 1,600 firearms from 865 people — far more than any other agency in the state. An estimated one-third of the weapons, most of which are handguns, have since been returned to the owners.

“Do you believe this person should have a gun? Your own sense is the best test,” said Brooker, who employs a cable television thought experiment to illustrate how he tries to depoliticize the highly charged red flag law: If a case hypothetically turns into a major news story, how might it be covered by both liberal MSNBC host Rachel Maddow and conservative Fox News anchor Sean Hannity?

“If this is a case they can agree on, this is the kind of case we’re going to file,” Brooker said.

These red flag laws, touted by advocates as one of the best tools available to prevent gun violence, received a renewed push this summer after a mass shooting at an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas, left 19 students and two teachers dead.

Congress responded by passing rare gun safety legislation, with bipartisan support, that could provide hundreds of millions of dollars to help states adopt or expand their own red flag laws. Nineteen states and the District of Columbia already have laws, but a recent analysis by the Associated Press found that many of those are barely used.

In California, which ranked seventh in number of cases per capita, San Diego has been a model.

With many jurisdictions still slow to adopt the use of gun violence restraining orders, the Governor’s Office of Emergency Services announced in July that it would provide $1 million to the San Diego City Attorney’s Office to expand its training efforts to other law enforcement groups.

“We must work together to make sure our gun safety and red flag laws are being used to protect our communities. They’re being underutilized,” Attorney General Rob Bonta said at a joint press conference with Elliott last month. “Others should take San Diego’s lead — be aggressive, use the tool that is there.”

A pioneering program

While the California law allows police, close family members, housemates, employers, co-workers and school officials to seek a gun violence restraining order for someone they believe poses a danger to themselves or others, nearly all cases in the state are initiated by law enforcement. Assembly Bill 2870, now before Gov. Gavin Newsom, would expand the list of eligible petitioners to include more family members and people who are dating or share children with the gun owner.

A judge can immediately order the person to relinquish their guns and declare them ineligible to purchase firearms and ammunition for three weeks or, after a hearing, extend the ban to as long as five years. The person can then petition once a year to lift the order and have their weapons returned.

Under Elliott, San Diego has invested in its red flag program like nowhere else in California, with close coordination between the city attorney’s office and the police department to streamline the process for obtaining an order. Brooker’s team includes three attorneys, a paralegal, a legal secretary, a police officer and two retired police officers who work part-time as investigators, preparing cases for review.

Petitions for orders arrive around the clock, Brooker said. While police can obtain an emergency order directly from a judge to take someone’s firearms for 21 days, the city attorney’s office steps in to decide whether to pursue a longer-term seizure of a year or more. Brooker’s team is in court every morning filing paperwork and conducting hearings for new cases or existing orders that are expiring.

The investigators had already been in for several hours when Brooker arrived at their fifth-floor office, overlooking Civic Center Plaza in downtown San Diego. Informational packets were ready for several new petitions that had come in overnight.

Brooker’s corner office overflows with “Star Wars” memorabilia, including a signed poster of Princess Leia and an Obi-Wan Kenobi T-shirt sharing a coat rack with his jackets and ties. On his bookshelf, a tome about the original Star Wars trilogy abuts Shakespeare’s collected works and a copy of the Constitution.

His team’s goal is only to remove guns from a situation until it can be made safe, Brooker said, so sometimes they work with a person on a plan to return their firearms, rather than requesting to extend the order.

This is more common for threats of suicide, when the gun violence restraining order can provide someone with time to cool off and stabilize. If drug or alcohol abuse is involved, or if a person seems to have deeper mental disorders, Brooker said his team will likely ask for a longer seizure of their weapons.

“They’re not all bad people or criminals,” he said. “Some of them are just going through a period of crisis.”

Taking a cautious approach

The most common types of cases depend on what’s happening in the world. Brooker said that domestic violence, suicide, child abuse, protest threats and social media threats all picked up during the coronavirus pandemic. Around holidays, there are more domestic violence and suicide cases, while after any mass shooting, there are many potential copycats.

“If there was ever a time I was rethinking my life and career, it was in that month after Uvalde,” Brooker said. Schools were going into lockdown every day, graduations were being threatened and his team was out every night executing search warrants for weapons that a judge had ordered removed.

Brooker said he takes a cautious approach to filing cases, because he is concerned about blowback from gun rights advocates. Every petition is investigated by the retired police officers to ensure that the potential threat is not based on unvetted evidence or an old history of violence.

“I know they’re waiting for us to file one bad case so they can jump all over us,” he said. “That’s the case that’s going to bite us.”

Though the red flag law has not encountered widespread resistance in California, it does remain deeply controversial with gun rights activists. Critics argue that the law violates due process rights by allowing a judge to order someone’s firearms removed before they’ve ever had a chance to defend themselves and by requiring that person to go to court to get their weapons back. Groups across the country are eyeing new legal challenges to red flag laws, which have been consistently upheld in court, following a summer Supreme Court ruling that strengthened gun rights.

Sam Paredes, executive director of the advocacy group Gun Owners of California, called the law an “insincere” attempt to deal with gun violence, without dealing with the underlying mental health issues or other dangerous situations. 

“We don’t have an issue with trying to deal with people who are identified as a danger to themselves or others. We have an existing procedure to deal with that all the way,” Paredes said. “Gun violence restraining orders or red flag laws are nothing more than a political football that is being thrown around the field.”

Considered in court

When Brooker and a colleague arrived at the county courthouse at 9 a.m., they were ushered into the courtroom by the bailiff, who informed Brooker that none of his respondents had checked in yet.

“Good, because I’ve got two dismissals and a continuance today,” Brooker replied.

While Superior Court Judge Adelaida Lopez led the parties and witnesses through an oath, Brooker was on his phone, writing notes about how he expected the cases to go and taking another quick read of the files to be prepared for any questions. In between, he checked his email and snuck a peek at a few photos from his son who had just moved to Switzerland for college. 

Brooker’s cases were among the first to be heard. In one, a man had told police he was trying to drink himself to death. While he didn’t have any firearms that the officers knew of, they wanted to obtain a gun violence restraining order to prevent the man from legally buying one in a moment of desperation.

Brooker asked for another continuance, giving his office more time to serve the defendant with a notice of the hearing.

“We tried him using soft contacts first for officer safety and obvious reasons, so there is due diligence, I can assure you,” Brooker said.

Lopez granted another 21-day continuance. Then Brooker moved to his next case, where the defendant had also been put under a mental health hold, which would prohibit him from possessing firearms and make a gun violence restraining order unnecessary.

“I think we can take it off the calendar. And will that result in a dismissal?” Lopez said. “Item 32 is dismissed. That protective order is dissolved.”

“Very good. Thank you, Your Honor,” Brooker said. The whole proceeding took less than five minutes.

Click here to read the full article in CalMatters

Almost Half San Francisco Residents Say They Were Victims of Crime in Past 5 Years

Nearly half of all San Francisco, California, residents say that they have been victims of crime in the past five years, according to a survey conducted by the San Francisco Chronicle.

The Chronicle reported Tuesday:

A sweeping poll commissioned by The Chronicle drew sobering results: Nearly half of respondents said they were victims of theft in the last five years, while roughly a quarter were physically attacked or threatened. The majority had negative impressions of law enforcement.

The SFNext poll asked a random sample of 1,653 city residents more than 90 questions about numerous aspects of life in San Francisco. It was conducted in late June and July, and respondents reflect the city’s demographics. More details on the survey’s methodology are available here.

Forty-five percent of people surveyed for the poll said they had an item stolen within the last five years. Proportionally, Black and mixed-race respondents felt a more severe impact than other groups, with a majority — 54% of Black respondents and 55% of mixed-race respondents — reporting they had suffered theft. Property crime rates were lower for white residents, 43% of whom had a possession swiped within the time period.

Critics of the poll suggest that it may have underreported crimes against Asian-American residents, who feel vulnerable lately.

It is difficult to compare the rate of reported crime victimization in San Francisco to national data. The National Crime Victimization Survey (NCVS) of the U.S. Census’s Bureau of Justice Statistics suggests that crime rates declined from the early 1990s to 2020, though they do not yet reflect the nationwide surge in crime that followed the anti-police riots of 2020.

Still, the survey matches anecdotal evidence from San Francisco residents, many of whom cite crime as reasons for leaving or wanting to leave the otherwise-beautiful city. San Francisco lost a higher share of its population (6.3%0 than any other U.S. city in the coronavirus pandemic, though that may also have been partly because of the prevalence of the tech industry and the advent of work-from-home. Voters recalled the local district attorney, left-wing radical Chesa Boudin, in a June election.

Click here to read the full article at Breitbart CA

Teen killed in Shootout Near Hollywood Walk of Fame

A teenager is dead following a shootout along Hollywood’s Walk of Fame overnight.

The victim was shot just after 1 a.m. on Hollywood Boulevard. 

Preliminary information reveals it appears that a group of men – at least one armed with a gun – tried robbing another group of men, leading to a shootout with multiple people shooting at each other. 

Witnesses said they heard about 10 gunshots. 

The victim was taken to the hospital where he later died, officials said. He was shot multiple times. 

At least four suspects were seen running from the scene, including at least one that had been with the victim. 

It’s unclear if this was an attempted robbery, or if the men got into some type of argument that led to the shootout. 

Click here to read the full article at FoxNews

California May Allow More Ill, Dying inmates to Leave Prison

 California would allow more ill and dying inmates to be released from state prisons under legislation that cleared the state Senate without opposition on Thursday and heads to the Assembly for final approval.

It would ease the current standard, which critics say is so restrictive that it keeps inmates locked up who are too sick to be dangerous. That not only fills prison beds unnecessarily, they say, but is costly because the inmates often require the most expensive and intensive care.

Ninety-one California inmates died while they were awaiting compassionate release between January 2015 and April 2021, according to the nonprofit advocacy group Families Against Mandatory Minimums (FAMM) — nearly a third of those who were waiting. During that time, 304 inmates sought compassionate release, but just 53 were released through the courts.

“Unfortunately, due to flaws in the current system, too few people are being released and far too many are dying before the process is completed,” the group said in a recent report.

The new threshold would allow inmates to be freed if they are permanently medically incapacitated, or have a serious and advanced illness “with an end-of-life trajectory,” the standard used by the federal prison system.

It would also also create a presumption that a qualified inmate should be released, unless a judge finds an unreasonable risk to public safety.

By contrast, current law requires inmates to be terminally ill or permanently medically incapacitated, with strict definitions. The illness currently must be expected to be fatal within 12 months. And permanent incapacity is defined as meaning that an inmate requires medical care around the clock.

The bill would remove the 24-hour-care requirement, instead making inmates eligible if they cannot complete activities of daily living. It would also allow them to be freed if they have progressive dementia or another cognitive impairment.

California also currently requires a recommendation from the corrections department’s secretary, the highest ranking prison official, who rejected 25% of all applications, according to FAMM’s data. The bill would instead require lower-level employees to recommend an inmate be released if they meet the new threshold.

“California’s current policy is too narrow, and the process is lengthy and redundant, unnecessarily saddling the state with high medical costs,” Democratic Assemblyman Phil Ting said after the Senate supported his bill. “We can do better.”

The California Narcotic Officers’ Association said in opposition that there is no need for “drastic changes in what is a well-crafted document.” The California District Attorneys Association similarly said that current standards “already provide for truly ill inmates to be paroled or resentenced.”

But FAMM’s general counsel, Mary Price, said in a statement that “the state cannot afford to waste its limited resources incarcerating seriously and terminally ill people who pose no threat to public safety.”

An earlier version of the bill cleared the Assembly last year on a 45-24 vote, with some membrs of both political parties opposed or not voting.

California’s policy became more restrictive last year when officials began limiting medical parole to inmates so ill they are hooked to ventilators to breathe, meaning their movement is so limited they are not a public danger. They said they had no choice under a change in federal rules.

Click here to read the full article in AP News

Good Samaritan Tackles Suspect Who Allegedly Assaulted, Robbed Elderly Man in Hollywood

A homeless man who assaulted and allegedly attempted to rob an elderly man at a Hollywood restaurant was chased down and subdued by a good Samaritan until authorities could arrive.

Security camera footage captured the incident and was shared on YouTube by Amherst Technologies on Friday. Since being shared on Twitter on Saturday, the video has received over 500,000 views as of Sunday evening.

In the footage from the restaurant, a man, described as homeless, can be seen walking up to the elderly man, who is off-camera, and proceeds to assault him while allegedly stealing his wallet and phone.

Sitting nearby, the good Samaritan, who can be heard narrating the events of the footage, witnessed the assault and immediately chased the suspect down.

The footage then cuts to a street view where the narrator tackles the man while a wallet — presumably the elderly man’s — falls from the suspect’s hands and onto the street.

The homeless man can be seen punching the good Samaritan in the face before he is tackled to the ground.

“That is where he clocked me,” the narrator said. “He ruined my glasses. They’re destroyed.”

A woman is then seen picking up the wallet and assisting the good Samaritan in subduing the suspect by stepping on his feet.

The narrator notes he slowly turned the suspect over to have him facing up.

From then on, the good Samaritan pinned the alleged robber down for a few minutes while he attempted to wrestle himself away to no avail.

Authorities eventually arrived, and the suspect was seen being arrested by police.

It is unknown when and where precisely in Hollywood the incident occurred or the details regarding the suspect’s detainment.

Breitbart News reached out to Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) for more details but did not receive an immediate response.

Click here to read the full article in BreitbartCA

California Board OKs Parole of Ex-Mexican Mafia Killer

California parole officials have approved the release of a notorious former Mexican Mafia prison gang leader who has been cooperating with law enforcement for nearly 20 years.

Two consecutive governors previously blocked parole for Rene “Boxer” Enriquez in part based on the argument that he is safer in prison than on the streets, where he may be targeted as a snitch by his old cronies.

“They can’t deny him parole based on, ‘He might be in danger.’ That’s kind of his risk to take,” his attorney, Laura Sheppard, said Tuesday.

Authorities have taken extraordinary steps to protect him over the years, once booking him into custody under a false name on a bogus charge of possessing a swordfish without a license.

In 2015, the Los Angeles Police Department used SWAT officers and a police helicopter to secure a downtown building so Enriquez could speak to a group of police chiefs and business leaders about the gang’s growth and operations. Just last week, prison officials refused to provide his current photograph, citing security concerns.

“With his knowledge of the mafia, it’s his belief that if he stays out of their way … that he’ll be fine,” Sheppard said. “He doesn’t believe they’re going to chase him down like you see in the movies, hunt him throughout the world.”

Yet Enriquez plans to keep cooperating with federal authorities as they are again prosecuting the leadership of the prison-based gang that began in the 1950s in a juvenile jail and has since grown into an international criminal organization.

“It’s how he makes amends,” Sheppard said. “He’s probably prevented more crimes than he was ever involved in.”

He has been in prison since 1993, serving a life sentence for two second-degree murders, multiple assaults and drug trafficking conspiracy.

Enriquez joined the Mexican Mafia — nicknamed the Black Hand or “La Eme,” its Spanish language initial — in 1985 while serving an earlier prison stint for rape and armed robbery, according to parole records. He spent nearly the next two decades building a reputation within the gang through murder, drug-running and terror, both in and out of prison.

Gov. Gavin Newsom turned over the final decision on the fate of Enriquez, now age 60, to a hearing by a 12-member panel of the 21-member parole board.

He cited in part the “unique security threats.” Enriquez has revealed “the inner workings of large-scale gang associations, and informed on individual gang members. He testified for the prosecution in numerous cases,” Newsom wrote.

Officials including a retired assistant director for the California prison system told the parole panel during a hearing Monday that Enriquez is a changed man who will continue contributing to law enforcement’s battle against the gang.

“I’ve seen the worst of the worst and I know that he has definitely changed his world,” said retired San Diego Police detective and gang expert Felix Aguirre.

But relatives and friends of Cynthia Figueroa Gavaldon lined up to argue that he is still dangerous and they fear for their safety upon his release. She was a 27-year-old mother of two young children when Enriquez ordered her killed on Christmas Eve 1989.

Enriquez “has nothing to offer the community. All he ever has known and touched has died,” said her father, Raymond Figueroa, referring to Enriquez as a “monster.”

He had two gang associates, including Figueroa’s daughter, killed for violations such as stealing drugs and money. In the second case, he and an accomplice first forcibly overdosed their victim with heroin before driving him to a remote area where Enriquez fatally shot him.

He and another man also stabbed Mexican Mafia leader Salvador “Mon” Buenrostro 26 times with inmate-made weapons in 1991 in an interview room in the Los Angeles County Jail, though Buenrostro survived.

Enriquez has said he quit the gang in 2002 when he discovered its members were killing children and innocent relatives of gang members who fell into disfavor. He has said that he would have help from a witness protection program if he is released.

And over the years, Enriquez has had dozens letters of support for his parole from the FBI, local law enforcement officials, multiple state and federal prosecutors, and a deputy state attorney general.

Newsom previously blocked Enriquez’s parole twice, in 2019 and 2020, and then-Governor Jerry Brown blocked it three times, in 2015, 2016 and 2017.

“He personally molded and shaped the Mexican Mafia’s expectations of its members and expanded the gang’s reach outside the prison,” Brown wrote in 2016. He said that included pioneering the gang’s control of a vast network of drug dealers and gang members outside the prison walls.

Newsom this time said he was leaving a decision to the parole board because of its “unique procedural and appellate history” and “other unusually complex factors.” He asked parole officials to consider both Enriquez’s “particularly violent criminal history and his singular rehabilitative record.”

A Los Angeles County judge overturned Newsom’s 2020 parole reversal in August, saying the governor hadn’t shown proof that Enriquez is still dangerous. The Second District Court of Appeal had blocked Enriquez’s release while it considers Newsom’s appeal.

Sheppard said she hopes the appeals court still rules on the case, even with Enriquez paroled, to set a legal precedent that “the governor can’t just make a decision based on speculation and historical issues.”

Suspect Accused of Shooting San Bernardino County Deputy Had ‘Extensive Criminal History’

“He was right over him, shot him point-blank” says a visibly shaken Sycamore Court resident, describing the shooting of a Rancho Cucamonga deputy who had responded to a suspicious vehicle parked outside the home of Juan Cardenas.

“He’d been there for hours, with the lights blinking” says Cardenas, who saw the suspect get in and out of the car, use a cell phone and what looked like a laptop in the vehicle. Wondering why AAA hadn’t responded, since the Toyota was parked in a no-parking area, he figured he’d call deputies to check if everything was ok. He says he saw a deputy park behind the vehicle, approach the driver, talk to him and return to his vehicle. A couple of minutes later, as the deputy returned to the Toyota, Cardenas says the suspect “lunged at the officer”, knocking him to the ground, shooting him several times while standing over him.

Not believing what he was seeing, he immediately called 911 to report the officer down. Investigators say the deputy managed to get a description of the suspect out over the radio, as he lay on the ground. The huge response from law enforcement was immediate. The injured officer was put on an Ontario Police Department helicopter and flown to Pomona Valley Hospital, where he is listed in stable condition.

PREVIOUS COVERAGE: San Bernardino sheriff’s deputy hospitalized after being shot by suspect in Rancho Cucamonga

The suspect, who fled on foot, was captured by officers down the street. He’s been identified as 35-year-old Nicholas Campbell, from Northern California. San Bernardino County Sheriff Shannon Dicus confirmed that the suspect has a long rap sheet and is on probation for a carjacking in Northern California.

Fresno police say a Nicholas Campbell was arrested in September 2017, when witnesses reported the then 32-year-old and a woman allegedly broke into the sunroof of a car they had locked themselves out of. The responding officers found that the car had been stolen in Northern California in a possible carjacking, and booked Campbell on suspicion of possession of stolen property and illegal possession of a firearm. San Bernardino County Deputies will neither confirm nor deny if this is the carjacking probation they are referring to, but say he does have an “extensive criminal history.”

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2 suspects in Deadly California 7-Eleven Robberies in Jail

LOS ANGELES (AP) — The two men arrested Friday in connection with a series of deadly robberies at Southern California 7-Eleven stores are now in jail, authorities said Saturday.

The Santa Ana Police Department released the booking photos of Malik Patt and Jason Payne, both of Los Angeles. Police said Patt, 20, is believed to have been the shooter and is considered the main suspect. Jason Payne, 44, is the other suspect.

A half-dozen 7-Elevens and a doughnut shop were robbed within five hours early Monday in San Bernardino, Orange and Riverside counties, setting off an intensive manhunt that resulted in the arrests of the two men in Los Angeles.

Matthew Hirsch, a 40-year-old clerk, was shot and killed at a Brea store, and Matthew Rule, 24, was shot and killed in the parking lot of a Santa Ana store. Two of the three wounded have been released from hospitals.

Authorities said the men are also suspected of a July 9 killing in Los Angeles, but have provided few details in the case.

Click here to read the full article in AP News