Arvin murder suspect arrested at Castaic hotel

A Special Enforcement Bureau Bearcat leaves the scene after a barricade suspect was taken into custody at the Castaic Inn on Thursday, May 3rd 2018. Cory Rubin/The Signal


Detectives have identified the suspect taken into custody following a five-hour operation Thursday in which heavily-armed members of the Los Angeles County Sheriff Department’s Special Enforcement Bureau shut down a portion of Parker Road and Ridge Route Road.

Officers with the Arvin Police Department with the help of tactical members of the SEB arrested 24-year-old Francisco Banos on suspicion of murder.

Banos was found staying at a hotel in Castaic by members of the Kern County Sheriff Department’s Gang Suppression Section Investigations and Street Enforcement Teams, according to a news released by the Arvin PD.

The SEB officers helped Arvin PD officers carry out a search warrant at the hotel.

The teams began their operation at 6 a.m. and it wasn’t until 1 p.m. when officers deployed a flashbang – commonly known as a stun grenade – into the hotel that the wanted man came out of the hotel room.

Banos also faces charges of assault with a firearm and of being a felon in possession of a firearm.

He was arrested in connection with the fatal shooting of 22-year-old Fabian Zuniga whose body was found April 15 on Monroe Street in Arvin. Zuniga died later in hospital.

More than a half-dozen SWAT-like vehicles were seen positioned around the I-5 north of Parker Road, from the off-ramps on either side of Interstate 5, were cordoned off shortly after 11 a.m. in support of the LASD operation.

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