Julian St. John Used Gun, Crossbow and Fire Extinguisher in Dana Point Attack: DA
See the Update No. 2 at the end of this post on the charges against Julian St. John. Update No. 1 was on the suspect's arrest. * Corrected to reflect Border Patrol detained suspect.
ORIGINAL POST, MARCH 10, 8:56 A.M.: The search for a man who shot and wounded another man in Dana Point Sunday morning ended last evening in San Onofre, with still no sign of the gunman. The vehicle he drove off in was spotted in San Clemente, leading to a short chase that ended in San Onofre, where searchers from the Orange County Sheriff's Department and U.S. Customs Border Protection, with the assistance of U.S. Marine bloodhounds from Camp Pendleton, called off the search at 6 p.m.
The drama began around 10 a.m. at a house in the 32500 block of Crete Road, Dana Point, where a man was shot in the hand and suffered lacerations to his head that send him to the hospital, according to sheriff's spokesman Lt. Jeff Hallock, who described the injuries as non-life threatening.
The man who shot the victim took off in the victim's car, which is the one later spotted in the San Clemente area, Hallock said.
No other information is yet available about the shooter and his motives, but Hallock said it appears he knew the victim, who also has not been identified at this hour.
Attempted murder suspect Julian St. John
Courtesy of Orange County Sheriff's Department
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UPDATE NO. 1, MARCH 10, 9:46 A.M.: The Orange County Sheriff's Department announced this morning the arrest of Julian St. John, 40, of Orange, in the Dana Point shooting.
A statement from Lt. Hallock, the sheriff's spokesman, also fills in some holes about the case.
For instance, the 56-year-old man who suffered a gunshot wound immediately identified St. John and the alleged gunman and the victim's Mercedes Benz SUV that had been parked in the driveway in the 32500 block of Crete Road has the vehicle St. John is accused to have driven off in around 10 a.m. Sunday.
It was that SUV that deputies spotted and tried to pull over in the San Clemente area about a half hour later, according to Hallock. That led to a short pursuit on the 5 freeway that ended near the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station, where St. John is alleged to have abandoned the SUV and fled on foot.
Despite the air and ground search for St. John ending after about five hours, the SUV and a handgun believed to have been used in the shooting were recovered, Hallock said.
State park rangers A U.S. Border Patrol agent spotted and detained St. John about 2:50 a.m. today near the gate off Basilone Road in San Clemente. He was subsequently arrested on suspicion of attempted murder and assault with a deadly weapon.
Currently held on $500,000 bail, St. John is due in court Tuesday, Hallock said.
UPDATE NO. 2, MARCH 11, 4:20 P.M.: Julian St. John used a crossbow, a fire extinguisher and a firearm in his attack on a man in Dana Point that preceded the manhunt that ended with his arrest in San Onofre, according to prosecutors.
A statement from the Orange County District Attorney's office (OCDA) states St. John visited the victim's home in Dana Point Sunday morning, and that a third male was there at the time. St. John is accused of grabbing a crossbow, loading it with an arrow that had no arrowhead and firing it at the home's resident, who was struck in the forehead. St. John would go on to hit the man several times in the head with a fire extinguisher, chasing him into the backyard and back of the home, according to the OCDA.
St. John next took out a gun and fired it at the man, hitting a finger, which caused the victim to lock himself inside a bathroom, prosecutors allege. St. John fired a second shot through the bathroom door that lodged into a wall, the OCDA adds.
The other male in the home was threatened by St. John with a firearm before the gunman fled the home and drove off in the injured man's SUV, the OCDA claims.
During the later chase with Orange County sheriff's deputies, St. John is accused of pulling in front of a patrol vehicle and accelerating toward the deputy before escaping back on to the 5 freeway and getting away briefly.
St. John is also alleged to have driven through a fence at the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station, which is closed to where he was taken into custody early Monday morning.
Currently held on $2 million bail and facing arraignment Wednesday morning, the 49-year-old Orange resident is charged with two felony counts of attempted murder, two felony counts of assault with a deadly weapon, two felony counts of assault with a firearm, one felony count of shooting at an inhabited dwelling, one felony count of attempted false imprisonment by violence or deceit, one felony count of unlawful taking of vehicle, one felony count of evading while driving recklessly with sentencing enhancements for the personal discharge of a firearm causing great bodily injury, personal discharge of a firearm, personal use of a firearm, and great bodily injury.
Conviction on all that could send St. John to state prison for 52 years to life, according to the OCDA.
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