Originally posted at 7 p.m. July 25, 2013
Written by Ken Stone with reporting by Khari Johnson
Six hours after a SWAT standoff began, a man on the sheriff's Most Wanted List was taken into custody at 1:17 a.m. Friday without incident, said a Sheriff's Department statement.
Ramiro Espinoza "was arrested at 357 Elkwood in Imperial Beach," said a brief news release. "He will be transported to [San Diego Central Jail] for processing. No further details are available at this time."
Residents of roughly 22 homes were evacuated to Mar Vista High School in the incident that began about 5:10 p.m. Thursday.
Late Thursday night, neighbors reported hearing explosions.
Espinoza, 34, is on the San Diego Sheriff's Most Wanted list—sought on charges including attempted murder and domestic violence.
It is not known how long Espinoza had been in Imperial Beach, said sheriff's spokeswoman Jan Caldwell.
Around 5 p.m. Thursday the San Diego Regional Fugitive Task Force arrived in the area in search of Espinoza.
"So they came down here and they started to call him out of the residence they believed he was in and at that point someone went over the back fence. We believe it was Espinoza and the chase, as it was, was on," Caldwell said.
During the chase, three to four shots were fired.
"I'm not at liberty to say who fired the shots. It was not law enforcement," she said. An investigation into who fired the shots will take place after Espinoza is captured, Caldwell said hours before the arrest.
No law enforcement officers or Imperial Beach residents have been injured. It is not known if Espinoza has been shot.
"We don't know if he's been hit. We don't know if he's hurt. All we do know is he is armed and very dangerous," she said.
Law enforcement from Chula Vista, National City, Coronado, San Diego, Carlsbad, the Sheriff's Department and California Highway Patrol are on the scene.
An Imperial Beach public-safety official told IB Patch Espinoza was on the FBI's Most Wanted List as did John Skuce, next-door neighbor to the house being targeted, citing a SWAT officer.
Those earlier reports were incorrect, however, said sheriff's Lt. Clayton Lisk.
Skuce, his wife and 9-year-old niece were evacuated about 8:30 p.m. from the house next to the one suspected of harboring Espinoza.
Skuce, 40, said he went to his sister's house several blocks away and described a scene where three dogs at the target home were barking furiously inside.
Officers knocked on the door and nobody answered, Skuce said.
He said the home was occupied by a woman about 30 and her boyfriend but wasn't sure if they were home.
10News showed law enforcers surrounding the home and aired witness comments that three shots were fired by authorities.
The woman who lives in the home declined to comment.
Authorities were "screaming at the gentleman to come out," said a witness who was identified by 10News as Tyrone C.
The home is just west of Mar Vista High School.
A June 13 report on CBS8.com said Espinoza was wanted for a May 24 incident in Bay Terraces in which "he showed up at his ex-girlfriend's home and shot her on the head, neck and chest in front of the victim's four-year-old daughter."
Crime Stoppers was offering a reward for information that led to an arrest.
"Ramiro Espinoza has a history of narcotics and domestic violence and has recently been involved in series of violent domestic crimes in multiple areas of the county including the Spring Valley area," said the sheriff's site.
He reportedly frequents the South Bay and has a tattoo with “San Diego” on his stomach and tattoo picture of Jesus with thorn crown on his back.
"He should be considered armed and dangerous," said the sheriff's site, which noted a $1 million warrant for his arrest.