Suspect in fatal stabbing identified, booked for murder

The suspect in a fatal stabbing in Temecula on May 15 has been identified as 23-year-old Jonathan Kim of Temecula. Kim was booked for the murder of Wilysha Gardner, a 21-year-old resident of Temecula.

According to a press release issued on May 20, Temecula Police responded to the 27000 block of Nellie Ct. in Temecula on Thursday, May 15 at 8:59 a.m. after receiving a report of an assault with a deadly weapon inside a home.

According to the release issued by Riverside County Sheriff’s Office, the officers arrived on the scene and located a deceased female inside the residence.

The press release goes on to say that another resident in the area called to report that they were following a person who had fled the scene.

A short time later, officers located and arrested the suspect outside of Lowes according to eyewitness reports.

Investigators from the Temecula Police Department and the Central Homicide Unit assumed the investigation.

The suspect allegedly was involved in a second stabbing incident earlier that day, fortunately, the victim of that attack survived. The name of the second victim, who lives in Temecula, is not being released.

The Valley News was initially notified of the incident by Debra Jilek, executive assistant to the Temecula Valley Unified School District Superintendent, when she alerted the press of a lockdown at James L. Day Middle School in Temecula. The school went on lockdown to protect students until the suspect was apprehended.

“This was a police-initiated incident and no further details were available at the time of the call,” said Jilek who reported that the lockdown was lifted by the police at about 9:35 a.m.

According to witnesses in the 27000 block of Nellie Ct. and Chantemar Way, a man was seen running from a house yielding a knife, heading west towards Margarita Rd. A neighbor that witnessed what appeared to be the alleged stabbing of a young girl at the house on Nellie Ct. tracked down the suspect in his car and cornered him at the Lowes Hardware store located on Margarita and Winchester Rd.

The neighbor was said to have subdued the alleged attacker until police arrived.

No further details were available at press time and anyone with information regarding this incident is encouraged to contact Investigator James Campos of the Central Homicide Unit at (951) 955-2777 or Investigator Darin Gray

(951) 696-3000.

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