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Costa Mesa police shoot armed burglary suspect multiple times

O.C. Crime Lab investigators Wednesday examine bullet casings outside Advanced Marine Services in Costa Mesa.
Orange County Crime Lab investigators Wednesday examine bullet casings in a shipyard at Advanced Marine Services in Costa Mesa.
(Kevin Chang / Staff Photographer)

The Orange County district attorney’s office is investigating a reported burglary that took place early Wednesday at a boat repair company on Costa Mesa’s Newport Boulevard and resulted in an armed suspect being shot multiple times by police.

Costa Mesa police officers responded to a burglary alarm call shortly before 5:30 a.m. Wednesday on the 2200 block of Newport, according to a news release issued by law enforcement officials Wednesday afternoon. They arrived at Advanced Marine Services to find the glass door to the business had been shattered.

A suspect — later identified as Hugo Standley Vargas, 35, whose last known residence was Corona — was discovered standing in the lobby of the business holding a knife, the news release indicated. Despite being ordered to drop his weapon, Vargas retreated into a back office and out of view.

A crime lab investigator walks past a shattered doorway Wednesday at Advanced Marine Services in Costa Mesa.
A crime lab investigator walks past a shattered doorway at Advanced Marine Services in Costa Mesa, where a suspected armed burglar was shot by police shortly before 5:30 a.m. Wednesday.
(Kevin Chang / Staff Photographer)

As officers stood at the entrance of the site, Vargas suddenly exited the business carrying a rifle and quickly advanced toward them, according to the release.

“Fearing for their safety and wanting to stop the threat Vargas created, [officers] discharged their duty weapons,” it stated. “Vargas was struck multiple times and dropped the rifle.”

Officers reportedly administered medical aid to Vargas until paramedics arrived. The suspect was transported to a nearby hospital for treatment of his injuries. As of Wednesday afternoon, he was listed in stable condition and was expected to survive.

 Traffic crawls along Newport Boulevard Wednesday morning as investigators collect evidence of a shooting in Costa Mesa.
Traffic crawls along Newport Boulevard Wednesday as Orange County Crime Lab investigators collect evidence of an early morning shooting at Advanced Marine Services in Costa Mesa.
(Kevin Chang / Staff Photographer)

A Special Prosecutions Unit from the Orange County district attorney’s office is handling the investigation. CMPD issued a traffic alert immediately following the incident, indicating southbound lanes of Newport Boulevard would be closed between Fairview and Victoria to accommodate the investigation.

Police reported no CMPD officers were injured during the incident. Anyone who may have additional information about the incident is asked to contact Det. Eric Fricke at (714) 754-4908 or efricke@costamesaca.gov or Sgt. Jose Morales at (714) 754-4933.

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