Police shoot man in Anaheim during kidnap-for-ransom investigation
A police officer shot a man in Anaheim on Monday morning during an investigation into a scheme in which authorities said immigrants in the U.S. illegally were being kidnapped and held for ransom.
The family of a man who had been smuggled into the United States from Mexico called police Sunday night to report that those who had sneaked him into the country were demanding more money for his safe release, Anaheim Police Sgt. Shane Carringer said.
An officer was conducting surveillance related to that investigation on an apartment building in the 100 block of North Syracuse Street shortly before 6 a.m. when a man approached the officer and the officer shot him, Carringer said.
The man ran away across Lincoln Avenue, and officers found him in a nearby mobile home park, Carringer said. He was taken to a local hospital with injuries that authorities said were not life-threatening and placed under arrest. There was no word on what charges he could face. He was described only as a man in his 30s.
Police recovered a handgun from the path the man is believed to have taken as he ran away, Carringer said.
SWAT personnel served search warrants at three apartments on Syracuse Street about 8:30 a.m. and rescued the man whose family had called police, as well as 10 other people who were inside, Carringer said. Some of them were found to be victims of the smuggling operation and some were believed to be suspects, he said.
Several other people were detained, and investigators were working to interview everyone involved and determine their roles.
Additional information about what prompted the shooting was not available.
Police were looking for a dark-colored 2018 Toyota Camry with a license plate of 8BXD306 that had a Minnie Mouse sticker on the trunk. Investigators think the vehicle might have dropped off the man who was shot by police and then fled after the shooting, Carringer said. Anyone with information about the vehicle is asked to call Anaheim police.
As with all police shootings in the city, Carringer said, the Orange County district attorney’s office will conduct a criminal investigation into the circumstances, and the Anaheim Police Department’s homicide detail and major incident review team will conduct an internal review. The Anaheim Police Review Board will also work with the Office of Independent Review to conduct a separate investigation and critique, he said.
Carringer said police would work with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement “for the purposes of prosecuting the smuggling crime but not for the purposes of immigration status on the smuggling victims,” noting that the Police Department does not cooperate with federal authorities to determine residency.
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