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Two men arrested for shooting at an occupied vehicle in Santa Paula

lemus and espinoza
Santa Paula Police Department
Javier Espinoza and Christian Lemus, both 22, both from Santa Paula
javier espinoza
Santa Paula Police Department
Javier Espinoza, 22, of Santa Paula
christian lemus
Santa Paula Police Department
Christian Lemus, 22, of Santa Paula

SANTA PAULA, Calif. - Santa Paula police responded to a call about a shooting in the area of Santa Paula Street and Mill Street around 3:21 p.m. on Saturday, May 2.

Patrol Officers and Special Enforcement Officers responded to the scene. They said witnesses stated that about 4 to 5 gun shots were heard and a vehicle was seen leaving speeding out of the area.

During the investigation, police determined that an altercation had taken place between the occupants of two cars, leading to one occupant firing at the other occupied vehicle.

SPPD Detectives and SEU Officers were able to identify the two occupants of the suspect vehicle as 22-year-old Christian Lemus and 22-year-old Javier Espinoza, both from Santa Paula.

Police said Lemus and Espinoza are known associates of a criminal street gang.

Around 7 a.m. on Friday, May 8, the Santa Paula Police Department SWAT team, assisted by an outside agency High Risk Warrant team, served a multi-location search warrant in relation to the shooting.

During the search, SPPD Detectives and SEU Officers reported finding a firearm and gang paraphernalia.

Espinoza was consequently taken into custody without incident.

Officers said Lemus was not found at his residence at the time of the warrant, however he was later located by SEU Officers in Oxnard and taken into custody there without incident.

Lemus and Espinoza were both booked at the Santa Paula Police Department and charged with shooting at an inhabited vehicle, discharging a firearm from a vehicle and conspiracy to commit a crime. Both men were transported to the Ventura County Main Jail for lodging.

Anyone with information about this shooting is encouraged to contact Detective Dan Potter at (805) 525-4474 ext. 287 or email him at

Ventura County
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Jessica Brest

Jessica Brest is a digital journalist and assignment editor for NewsChannel 3-12. To learn more about Jessica, click here.

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