Local COBRA detectives return from Kansas City with drive-by shooting suspect

Det. Dan Finn emerges from a plane in Burbank Wednesday with drive-by shooting suspect. courtesy photo, SCV Sheriff Station

Local sheriff’s detectives capped four years of dogged investigation Wednesday when Detective Dan Finn stepped off a plane in Burbank Wednesday night with a drive-by shooting suspect on the run wanted since 2015.

A photo of Finn emerging from the plane with shooting suspect Kenneth Mitchell, however, posted on the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station social media says it all.

Mitchell was returned to California Wednesday night by Finn and his COBRA — Career Offenders — Burglary, Robbery, Assault, team.

On Wednesday, Finn and fellow COBRA Detective Mark Barretto traveled to Kansas City, Missouri, to take custody of Mitchell pursuant to an extradition warrant, station spokeswoman Shirley Miller wrote in a Nixle post about the extradition.

Mitchell was being held Thursday at the SCV Sheriff’s Station in lieu of $2 million bail pending a future court appearance.

In July 2019, detectives made renewed efforts in asking the public for their assistance in locating a suspect wanted for an attempt murder that occurred in August 2015, Miller wrote in the Nixle post about the extradition.

On Aug. 28, 2015, Mitchell, 30, allegedly drove by a condo complex located on the 28000 block of Sarabande Lane in Canyon Country and fired a handgun at a man, striking him in the leg, she wrote.

The victim, identified as Alondo Preston, 26, was taken to Henry Mayo Newhall Hospital following the 8 a.m. shooting that day and underwent surgery that afternoon, Miller said at the time.

The suspect fled the scene, she added.

Preston survived and Mitchell would later be charged in December 2015 with attempted murder.

From that point on, Mitchell was on the run and his whereabouts, according to the U.S. Marshals, were unknown.

The search for Mitchell began four years ago and wrapped two weeks ago with an announcement made by U.S. Marshal Mark S. James that Mitchell was arrested in Kansas City on suspicion of attempted homicide

In going after the case in July, investigators reached out to U.S. Marshals for help and information was developed that Mitchell may have fled to Kansas City. 

The Marshals Service task force in Kansas City began a local investigation during the first week of September and believed Mitchell had recently stayed at a local motel there. 

Investigators discovered a vehicle from security camera footage and would soon find that vehicle in the area of east 10th and White Avenue in Kansas City, according to a news release issued by the U.S. Marshals Wednesday.

Task force members spotted Mitchell standing next to the vehicle and took him into custody without incident. 

“There’s nothing more to release at this time,” Finn said Thursday, when reached for comment.

Mitchell was placed in custody at the Jackson County Detention Center, where he awaited  extradition back to California to face the charges.

On Wednesday night, when Finn stepped off the plane with his suspect, that waiting came to an end.

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