San Diego

5th Arrest in Shooting at Chula Vista Shopping Center

One suspect was killed, one officer injured and five people were taken into custody

A fifth and final suspect was arrested at the U.S.-Mexico border Wednesday in connection with a shooting that killed one person, injured a law enforcement officer and prompted Chula Vista businesses and residents to shelter in place for hours.

One person was killed and one law enforcement officer was injured when shots were fired following a meeting Tuesday afternoon between Homeland Security investigators and suspected high level drug dealers. 

The meeting in the Shops at San Miguel shopping center parking lot developed into a violent struggle and shooting, law enforcement officials said.

Officers from several agencies carried high-powered weapons as they searched vehicles outside a shuttered grocery store located on Proctor Valley Road east of State Route 125.

NBC 7 Newschopper captured other officers searching a nearby apartment complex and several businesses including a UPS shipping center. 

Four drug trafficking suspects were arrested, including Sergio Arias-Ibarra, 32, who was found hiding inside the trunk of his car, Chula Vista Police (CVPD) Captain Lon Turner said. 

The other suspects who were taken into custody were identified by Turner as: Jesus Rizo, 22; Rafael Morataya-Aguilar, 19; and Jovani Bernal-Moreno. The final arrest in the ordeal was Miguel Parra, 22, who was arrested at the border in south San Diego.

Turner said an agent with a multi-agency drug task force called Operation Alliance engaged suspects in two separate cars in front of the store. 

The officer feared for his life and fired his weapon, hitting one suspect, Turner said. The suspect was taken to a local hospital, where he died. He has not been identified. An officer was also taken to a local hospital. Turner said his injuries were not serious. 

The suspects did not shoot at the officer.

Both cars involved fled the scene. A white Toyota was found at the Sedona Condominium complex where it crashed. Just around the corner, two suspects in that car were arrested.

After the remaining suspects escaped, officials launched a manhunt. Multiple teams in full protective gear armed with assault weapons searched the area.

Police searched for the remaining suspect, Parra, who may have fled in a red Chevy Trailblazer or red Dodge. No description of Parra was released.

He was later arrested without incident.

The five suspects face multiple charges. The name of the sixth suspect who was shot and killed in the encounter with law enforcement has not yet been released.

Contact Us