A Homicide Bureau official described Sunday’s shooting in Valencia as a murder that’s part of an active and ongoing investigation, with detectives releasing little information regarding motive or a possible suspect for fear of jeopardizing their case.
One person of interest has been identified, according to investigators who declined to release the person’s identity at this time.
Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station deputies responded to a report of shots fired Sunday in the early morning hours on a street adjacent to Vista Valencia Golf Course, according to officials.
“As they were responding, they were updated that a vehicle was in the middle of the roadway of Vista Fairways Drive,” said Lt. Art Spencer of the L.A. County Sheriff’s Department Homicide Bureau.
A dark-gray Toyota Rav-4 was found in the middle of the 25700 block of Vista Fairways Drive around 4:31 a.m., station officials said Sunday.
“Deputies approached the vehicle and they discovered there was a male victim who was having trouble communicating with the deputies and appeared to be suffering from a gunshot wound,” Spencer said.
The responding deputies rendered aid and then called in paramedics who had staged nearby and took the gunshot victim to Henry Mayo Newhall Hospital, where he succumbed to his injuries, he added.
A spokeswoman for the L.A. County Coroner’s Office indicated the decedent’s name had not yet been released pending the notification of the man’s next of kin.
“There was a person of interest who returned to the crime scene,” Spencer confirmed Wednesday in a phone interview. “That person was detained. But as of (Wednesday), that person was released pending further investigation.”
SCV Sheriff’s Station arrest records did not indicate anyone has been taken into custody in connection with a murder charge since Sunday.
“We’re still looking into the case. I don’t know if there’s anyone else involved,” he said. “We haven’t ruled that out yet.”
Spencer also declined to comment at this time as to whether any particular motive was being investigated, if the shooting was believed to be connected to any other active criminal investigation or if there was any relationship between the suspect and the victim.
He did say there was no indication of gang activity in connection with the crime.
“It’s still early in the investigation,” he said Wednesday.
After seeing zero criminal homicides in 2022, the city of Santa Clarita reported five in 2023, including the shooting death on Dec. 31, according to data available from the L.A. County Sheriff’s Department.
A 23-year-old man was stabbed to death March 12 outside Dooly’s Liquor and Market in Newhall.
A Newhall shooting that resulted in two deaths later that month on Valle Del Oro is believed to be connected to gang activity.
The day after Halloween, a 20-year-old was arrested after a fatal crash that prosecutors charged as a second-degree murder, saying the driver was on probation for a previous DUI charge at the time of his second alleged DUI crash.