UPDATE: April 19, 2 p.m.
MORENO VALLEY: After an hours-long incident that forced many families to be evacuated from their homes has ended after Sheriff’s Emergency Response Team (SERT/SWAT) members entered the residence and found nobody at the location.
In a phone interview shortly after 2 p.m., Riverside County Sheriff’s spokesman Deputy Michael Vasquez confirmed that the person who had fled during the service of the earlier search warrant was not located inside the Corley Court residence where he had allegedly fled to.
Relieved neighbors, some of whom had spent the last six hours sitting inside their vehicles or at nearby friends or relatives houses, were allowed to begin returning to their homes as sheriff’s personnel began leaving the area to handle other calls for service.
Vasquez could not provide the name of the alleged suspect or any other information about the multiple simultaneous homicide-related warrants that deputies served across Moreno Valley this morning, citing the ongoing investigation.
ORIGINAL STORY: Homicide-related search warrant leads to SWAT standoff
MORENO VALLEY – A man who fled from Gang Task Force members as they served a warrant related to an ongoing homicide investigation has led to an ongoing standoff and caused an entire neighborhood to be locked down Wednesday, April 19. The incident is happening on Corley Court in Moreno Valley.
Corley Court is a small cul-de-sac off Moreno Way, north of Cottonwood Avenue and west of Perris Boulevard, in Moreno Valley. There are only nine homes on the small, dead-end street where the alleged suspect is now believed to be barricaded.
Little information is known regarding the homicide that sheriff’s personnel were investigating and serving the warrant for; however, other media outlets have reported the warrant was related to an ongoing homicide that occurred sometime in the last four months.
The warrant was just one of several homicide-related warrants that were served simultaneously at locations throughout Moreno Valley, according to officials. All were related to an unspecified but ongoing homicide investigation.
Although it was not immediately known where sheriff’s officials served the warrant, the residence the man allegedly burst into is on Corley Court near Moreno Way.
A family of several individuals that was inside the residence when the man rushed into their home managed to escape safely from the house.
It was not immediately known if there was any connection between the alleged suspect and the family whose home he barricaded himself inside.
Officials served the early-morning warrant about 7 a.m., according to Riverside County Sheriff’s spokesman Deputy Michael Vasquez.
As of 10:30 a.m., the Corley Court residence was surrounded by Riverside County Sheriff’s personnel, including members from the Sheriff’s Emergency Response Team (SERT/SWAT).
Based on statements from the family that resides at the residence where the suspect fled to, authorities believe the man possibly remains barricaded inside the home.
After the alleged suspect, who has not been identified, forced his way into the Corley Court residence, sheriff’s officials began flooding into the neighborhood and surrounding streets as deputies established a perimeter around both the Corley Court residence, as well as the entire neighborhood.
Not knowing when the standoff might end, officials began evacuating Corley Court as well as some homes on other streets that were directly adjacent to the Corley Court home about 7 a.m.
As citizens who reside in and around the neighborhood saw the flood of patrol vehicles and officers converging into their neighborhood, people immediately took to social media; asking for information and discussing all the sudden and unexpected police activity on the short cul-de-sac.
Some wrote on social media that they were sitting in their cars or had gone to friends or family’s homes after they were abruptly woken up by sheriff’s officials who told them they needed to immediately evacuate their residences. Many complained that they were not even given time to get dressed or grab personal belongings to take with them.
Others, who lived in the area but had not been evacuated, said in the absence of official information about the nature of the incident they had locked all their doors, gathered their families and were hiding inside their homes.
Schools in and around the area where the standoff is occurring went on voluntary lock down; however those lock downs have since been lifted.
As the standoff continued, A sheriff’s mobile command center was established at an undisclosed location nearby the residence where the man was barricaded. Soon, armored tactical rescue vehicles, an armored battering ram and other official command vehicles began arriving and staging in the area, ready to be used at a moment’s notice if needed.
Firefighters and AMR medics were also staged in the area, ready if needed.
Witnesses at the scene reported hearing loud bangs echo through the neighborhood shortly after 9 a.m. Officials later confirmed that SERT/SWAT members had set off flash-bang grenades in an effort to encourage the barricaded subject to exit the residence.
As the incident was nearing its third hour, SERT/SWAT members used an armored battering ram to break the front door to the residence down and authorities could be heard using a public address system to try to make contact with the man.
Neighbors described on social media that they could hear authorities asking the man, possibly named Joshua, to exit the residence with his hands up. Officials also warned that if he failed to respond, a sheriff’s K-9 would be sent into the residence after the man.
Throughout the hours-long incident a sheriff’s Aviation Unit helicopter could be seen circling over the Corley Court residence and surrounding neighborhoods, providing tactical information and updates to deputies and other officials on the ground.
As of noon there had been no new updates, and the alleged suspect was still reportedly barricaded inside the Corley Court residence.
This is a developing story. Addition information will be provided as it becomes available.