D.A. reviewing charges in Jan. 11 Sand Canyon shooting

Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff's Station Capt. Justin Diez arrives on the scene as deputies investigate a shooting incident that took place in the MacMillan Ranch neighborhood Monday afternoon. Jan. 11, 2021. Bobby Block / The Signal.

By Emily Alvarenga and Perry Smith

Signal Staff Writers

Prosecutors with the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office are reviewing the case for a midday shooting in a gated Sand Canyon neighborhood involving a retired Sheriff’s Department official and a man suspected of crashing his way into the upscale east side enclave.

The case has been presented to the D.A. regarding the Jan. 11 incident and, in the case presented, charges were recommended for the person shot and not the shooter, according to Lt. Charles Calderaro with the L.A. County Sheriff’s Department Homicide Bureau. 

Witnesses of the shooting and previous statements from Sheriff’s Department officials described the following circumstances:

Shortly after 2 p.m. Jan. 11, Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station officials received a call after a man crashed a red Toyota Tacoma truck through the gate of the residential community.

“The vehicle then proceeded into the complex and made a right turn to go northbound,” said Calderaro.

A retired L.A. County sheriff’s deputy and his son-in-law went looking for the gate-crasher, found him, blocked in the suspect’s truck with their vehicle and then confronted the man.

“So, the guy parked at the end of the street and just sat in his truck, and then one of the other neighbors blocked him in,” said Eddie Hansen, president of the MacMillan Ranch HOA, in an interview shortly after the shooting. “The driver, one neighbor and his father-in-law … started having a scuffle and the father-in-law says, ‘Watch out; he’s got a gun.’” 

The retired deputy shot the driver after the driver reached for the weapon, Hansen added.

Calderaro said during an interview shortly after the shooting that the man was struck twice in the upper torso. 

Calderaro also confirmed at the time of the shooting that both the driver and the retired deputy had firearms. The gun that law enforcement officials recovered from the scene is believed to belong to the driver.

Calderaro said because the shooter is considered a victim with respect to their investigation, department policy precluded him from identifying him or confirming whether the retiree was the shooter, Calderaro said. 

Sheriff’s officials could not release any specifics regarding the condition of the person shot, citing HIPAA laws, but identified the man’s condition as stable, based on the last report they received.

When asked why the Homicide Bureau was investigating a nonfatal shooting, Calderaro replied that it was “a Sheriff’s Department investigation” and that homicide detectives, “being that we deal with those investigations more frequently, we were requested to assist them, and we did.” As a matter of department policy, Homicide detectives also investigate all officer-involved shootings.

Calderaro indicated no arrests have been made, and investigators presented all of their information to the D.A.’s Office, which would make the final determination on any charges. 

“They’re going to make their decision based on the evidence of the facts presented to them,” he said, “and then they’re going to conclude their review of the investigation.

“At this point,” he added, “no charges have been filed.”

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