Murder suspect in sergeant shooting booked in Santa Clarita


Local sheriff’s deputies booked a Lancaster man arrested on suspicion of murder in the fatal shooting Wednesday of Sgt. Steven Owen, Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station officials said.

Trenton Lovell, 27, was arrested shortly after 2 p.m. by deputies in Lancaster, brought to the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station were he was booked for murder, Lt. Brenda Cambra told The Signal Thursday morning.

“He was arrested in Lancaster and booked here,” she said.

Lovell was detained briefly in the local jail on Magic Mountain Parkway, then transferred to the Twin Towers Correctional Facility Wednesday night, a deputy assigned to the local sheriff’s jail said.

He is being held on $2 million bail.

While he was being booked on suspicion of murder Wednesday, hundreds gathered atop freeway overpasses across the Santa Clarita Valley in a show of support and respect for the slain sergeant .

Owen was killed Wednesday afternoon after he was struck by gunfire during a routine response to a residential burglary in Lancaster.

The 29-year sheriff’s department veteran was the first of two deputies to arrive to the scene when he worked to establish a containment just a few minutes after noon.

Homicide investigators learned shortly after 12:00 p.m. Wednesday, Lancaster Station received a call of a residential burglary occurring at a residence located in the 3200 block of West Avenue J-7 in Lancaster, Deputy Juanita Navarro-Suarez wrote in a news release issued Wednesday.

“In an active attempt to preserve life and property and establish a containment, Sergeant Owen positioned himself to the rear of the location. The suspect encountered Sergeant Owen, produced a handgun and opened fire, striking Sergeant Owen.

“A second deputy arrived on scene and encountered the suspect who had entered Sergeant Owen’s patrol vehicle and was attempting to commandeer it.

“At that point, a deputy-involved shooting occurred. The suspect then rammed the assisting deputy’s patrol vehicle head-on before running from the scene.

“As a containment was established for the apprehension of the suspect, it was learned that the suspect had entered yet another nearby residence occupied by two teenagers,” Navarro-Suarez said.

“The scared teenagers then alerted the sheriff’s department that the suspect was inside their home, putting into effect an immediate rescue plan.

Already on scene, a special weapons team from LASD’S Special Enforcement Bureau made entry to protect the lives of the teenagers who were in danger.

Bureau members made entry, the suspect exited the rear door of the residence and less than lethal devices were deployed to ensure that the suspect could not re-enter, Navarro-Suarez said.

At this time, the teenagers were successfully rescued to safety, she said.

“In a continued effort to avoid apprehension, the suspect then climbed over a wall where he was confronted by deputies from Lancaster Station. He was then taken into custody.

The suspect, a male Black adult on active parole, was struck by gunfire in the upper torso and transported to a local hospital for a medical clearance for booking.

Although it could not be immediately confirmed, sources close to the investigation reported the suspect was airlifted to Henry Mayo Newhall Hospital where he was treated.

“During this difficult time, it is important to remember and appreciate the heroic efforts by those who are called upon to keep the peace. In this case, Sergeant Owen was killed in his efforts, making the ultimate sacrifice, Navarro-Suarez said.

Whenever a Deputy Involved Shooting occurs involving Los Angeles County Sheriff’s deputies and it results in the wounding of a suspect, multiple independent investigations immediately begin at the scene.

These include separate investigations by the Sheriff’s Homicide Bureau and Internal Affairs Bureau.

The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department immediately notifies the Office of the Inspector General who sends a representative to the incident scene and provides independent oversight throughout the investigative process.

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