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Family of Man Fatally Shot by Parole Agent Speaks Out

On Feb. 11—six days before his 30th birthday—John Armes was shot at about 12:30 p.m. on Mimulus Way in Temecula by a parole agent with the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation.

Grieving family members of a parolee-at-large who died following an officer-involved shooting Feb. 11 in Temecula are asking, “Why?”

The life of John Armes, 29, was celebrated Sunday at Live Oak Park in Fallbrook. Among those in attendance was his brother, Brandon Armes, who traveled from Massachusetts to say his goodbyes.

John, one of five brothers, had been in and out of trouble with the law since he was 15, according to Brandon, who is of the opinion that the system failed his sibling.

Brandon now wants to be his brother's "voice.”

“We just want justice for him,” he said. “It is not just about my brother, I don’t want anyone else getting shot just because these guys have a badge.”

John, a Fallbrook resident, had already served eight years in prison for a violent offense, his brother said. 

More recently, he was wanted in connection with assault and battery charges in a Jan. 4, 2012 incident in North San Diego County. John was released from custody March 23, 2012 after posting $50,000 bail, according to case information provided by San Diego District Attorney’s Office Spokesman Steve Walker.

John was arrested again in April 2012, and again posted bail, according to Walker. He pleaded guilty to the initial assault charge on June 1, 2012 but failed to appear for his Sept. 18, 2012 sentencing, Walker said, which resulted in the issuance of a warrant for his arrest.

On Feb. 11—six days before his 30th birthday—John was shot at about 12:30 p.m. on Mimulus Way in Temecula by a parole agent with the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation.

The family said they have had a hard time getting information about how John ended up dead.

“He was not armed,” Brandon said. “They had enough people to detain him.”

Brandon said he believes John was Tasered before he was shot in the back three to four times.

“I just want some answers, I am not going to stop until I get some type of answer to why deadly force was used... Someone gave the orders to shoot.”

Just prior to the shooting, John had been under surveillance at a Temecula hotel, according to Luis Patino, spokesman for the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation.

The surveillance was being conducted by a parole agent with CDCR assigned to the Fugitive Apprehension Team in San Diego, as well as other members of the Fugitive Task Force and members of the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department, according to Patino.

“...(They) were conducting surveillance...where they believed parolee-at-large John Christopher Armes had been hiding out. Armes was believed to be armed,” Patino said.

“The fugitive and a woman were seen leaving as passengers in a taxi. The officers followed the taxi and at one point attempted to make a stop and arrest. Armes reportedly tried to flee and appeared to have been reaching for a weapon. Armes was shot and was later pronounced dead at a local hospital,” Patino added.

While several investigations into the officer-involved shooting are underway, CDCR is not releasing the name of the parole agent who reportedly shot John, Patino said.

Agencies looking into the circumstances of the incident are the CDCR Deadly Force Investigations Team, a team of trained CDCR investigators that conducts criminal and administrative investigations into every use of deadly force; and the Office of the Inspector General’s Bureau of Independent Review, which is responsible for oversight of CDCR’s investigations of its employees, Patino said.

Additionally, the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department is continuing its own investigation because the city of Temecula falls within its jurisdiction, sheriff’s Sgt. Lisa McConnell said.

“Because the investigation is still ongoing, any information about evidence or details regarding the incident will not be released at this time. Our homicide unit is working closely with the California Department of Corrections; they are conducting their own investigation,” McConnell said.

Neither agency could confirm whether Armes was found with a weapon.

Brandon said although his brother had a reputation of “running” and never should have been released on bail, the use of deadly force was still unjustified.

Alicia Pucci, Brandon’s girlfriend who also traveled from Massachusetts to attend John’s memorial service, said late Wednesday that the couple has filed a complaint with the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation.

“We understood he was on the run from cops, but we believe he was murdered by cops,” she said.

Pucci added that the woman with John the day of the shooting was about four months pregnant with his child.  He also leaves behind nieces, his siblings and his parents.

“We are John’s family...We are John’s voice...His voice will shine through us,” she said.

Bob Dole February 22, 2013 at 09:02 PM
These families always whine. It is always someone elses fault that this happens. Good riddance to a tax payers waste of money. Own up to what you do, follow instructions, obey the law and you won't find yourself in these situations.
Brenda February 22, 2013 at 09:17 PM
Hallalulla MamaG spot on Lady. Everyone also has to look at the information available to be a Federal Marshal or any of these special police forces you have to be totally spot on, recommendations, the best of the bes, previous military special ops, you name itt. These are the men that go after the worst and most dangerous of criminals. Into foreign countries to get drug dealers and bring them back to the US for trial. Protecting High profile Supreme Justices, other Judges, Gov. Witness's, witness protection programs any other high profile people and their families protection. These are guys who are the best of the best and are dang near like a programmed machine when going after suspects. They know the orders ahead of time about a suspect and if he liable to run, take hostages, every detail about him.
Brenda February 22, 2013 at 09:26 PM
Of course Chester, everything always comes down to a Civil suit. Criminal is 100% and Civil suit is 51-49% possibility of wrong doing.
Brenda February 22, 2013 at 09:30 PM
Linda, I will make this real simple for you dear. Start with the article and the suspects brothers comments. Then work your way down through all of the comments and count, ie, 1,2,3,4,5----- how many said similar if not the same statements I did ok? Then ask yourself this BIG question ok? Why did I, AGAIN, only pick Brenda out of the crowd of commentors to blast. (AS USUAL)? You have a very serious obsession with me dear and maybe a new hobby is in line for you, other then me? Just saying.............sweetly :)
Brenda February 22, 2013 at 09:44 PM
MamaG, I thank you for putting all of this together in one nice accurate and information filled post. I agree with your comments and have a history of law enforcement as you and many law enforcement friends and family including 2 who are Federal US Marshals, the best of the best. I can also just about from the statements of the brother, the other articles know this was a man who was not going to be taken alive. Otherwise you do NOT use the car as a weapon, you do not run, you simply put your hands UP and he KNEW they were after him, this was no surprise to him.
Brenda February 22, 2013 at 09:50 PM
VWDS, Well, seems as alot of us lived on the same street, LOL. But having my area back up to this street I am damn glad he did not get to keep running and get into one of our houses, take hostages, especially MINE. Everyone is safe and alive today because this man who was not going to be taken alive was shot after not surrendering, using a car to ram the police at about 40mph, getting out going to his waist band, and running. We have to remember he also PUT HIS PREGNANT Girlfriend at risk of being SHOT and killed by using the TAXI as a weapon, then just getting out and running. He did not give a hoot for anything or anyone but getting "free". He would have killed, injured anyone who got in his way.
Brenda February 22, 2013 at 10:02 PM
Al, I am happy he did not take any hostages, slam into anyones house or hi-jack a car and lead them on a road race until he ran out of gas. The possibilites of this man having anymore victims on his belt was put to a stop thank god. If he had gotten away like the week before he could have gotten to us, our kids, or into our garage or houses, or to the kids soon to have been getting out of school.
Michael February 23, 2013 at 05:28 AM
Matt, when did the amendments ever apply to our country anymore. None of the amendments apply. You'll get beaten up for being a certain religion, they're going to take away out guns, and then whatever amendment you said (I just saw you said something about taking away amendments. They had every right to shoot him. As with a lot of shootings in America. What about the Alabama hostage, did the FBI have any right to go into his bunker and kill him? YES. This guy could have harmed innocent people so they had to do what they had to do.
Brenda February 23, 2013 at 09:38 AM
Isnt that what we are all taught Bob or was it just me?
Brenda February 23, 2013 at 09:42 AM
Michael, As always spot on and you are correct on all accounts. When a criminal does NOT want to go to jail or back to jail they will do anything, hurt or kill anyone, hold anyone hostage, to get away, or think the police will let them get away. They will not put their hands up and surrender. They will put their pregnant girlfriend in danger of being shot, injured in the car smashing fiasco, anything. This guy would not have been taken alive no matter if the cops had shot him or not. It just would have went on longer while he got a hostage in someones house and then finally after days of news press he kills himself and his hostages. There is not one Prison Police or Federal Marshal who would have taken the chance of this guy getting away AGAIN.
keepn it real February 23, 2013 at 02:40 PM
So tax payers have been paying for him to be in and out of jail? Why. Are we talking about this....Really!
V.W.D.S. February 23, 2013 at 03:46 PM
Linda - immediately after the incident I drove to the street. I was informed there was 'something going down' on that street by a neighbor. There wasn't a Temecula cop in site. Parole officers aren't Temecula PD. I spoke directly with the woman they interviewed. She said several black undercover (task force) vehicles followed the cab down that street. There was no high speed chase, they simply followed the cab onto the street. There was no sense of danger or anything until she heard them yell, "get down, get down" and then they shot him. Perhaps they could have used a dog - or perhaps they could have hit him in the leg. Shooting to kill in this situation was extreme. Personally I give the Temecula PD much more credit. I doubt they would have over reacted like this. I mean, one cab - and several task force agents. They knew he didn't have transportation. This was an exercise in stupidity. I too would be upset if I was the family. I was upset because of my neighbors. The schools and the kids that frequent this area daily. We are not a ghetto neighborhood in east LA. If the cops want to bring their ghetto mentality into our neighborhoods, that is a serious problem.
Gandhi February 24, 2013 at 10:56 AM
I am concerned with JUSTICE Al!! A concept that many of you seem to have forgotten here in your haste to judge. Yes, I would feel the same even if it was OJ Simpson!! Everybody deserves justice, and this was NOT justice, shooting an unarmed man in the back 4 times! I'm GLAD its "clear" that I am concerned with justice more than anything else, glad you got that.
Gandhi February 24, 2013 at 11:00 AM
I totally agree and understand exactly what you've stated here Michele. Unfortunately we have a bunch of right winger vigilantes here who are "holier than thou", at least thats the impression they want us to receive, and they are not capable of understanding the true meaning of justice, let alone compassion for anybody that they have heard branded "parolee". All that means is you're out on parole, big deal, lots of people have been "out on parole", INNOCENT people even, believe it or not. I know this guy made mistakes, had a temper, etc. but nonetheless, justice was NOT served by those who shot him in the back 4 times.
Gandhi February 24, 2013 at 11:04 AM
Sorry, VWDS, I'm afraid I'm only able to comment on what I READ here, thats what this is all about isnt it? As I said before, it clearly states that he was shot by "Parole officers", until the Patch prints a retraction of that statement it stands as far as I'm concerned. YOU are not the authority here, and do not have the final word, or any credibility as far as I'm concerned from past experience with you here on the Patch. Maybe YOU should consider a change of career, possibly writing for the Patch here, THEN YOU can control what information goes into the story, but not now!
Gandhi February 24, 2013 at 11:16 AM
Thank you alicia. I have joined the group on FB. These people here are not worth your energy, please believe me. None of them even acknowledge your statement that he was "tazed" first before being shot, they don't care. I do, thats why they don't like me, as you may notice if you read all the comments here, some very nasty people, but I'm not feeling the pain that you are, I just want justice, we can't bring him back however, thats the worst part, but those who did wrong should pay one way or another. I will certainly pray for justice, but stay away from this page and these negative people, it wont help at all, many of them are completely heartless, I've had much experience with them here. Keep fighting for him, he would want you to, you know that don't you?
Gandhi February 24, 2013 at 11:20 AM
And your point would be??????
Gandhi February 24, 2013 at 11:25 AM
We're ALL so thrilled to have YOU "MamaG" to explain it all to us, god knows none of us could possibly READ or COMPREHEND the story without YOUR input!! You wanna smell the coffee hon, feel free, dont tell me what to do, yes where do YOU think criminals get their guns now honey? YOUR HOUSE, or YOUR NEIGHBORS HOUSE! Cuz they're LEGAL, now think about that really really hard honey, I know you can "get it". If they were ILLEGAL, the criminals couldnt get them from YOUR house or your NEIGHBORS house, could they? Or gun shows, or over the internet, or at Wal-Mart..........am I really having to explain this to someone? Unbelievable.
Brenda February 25, 2013 at 01:21 AM
Part 1, VWDS. I was wondering why immediately after the "incident" you would drive to the street? Now you say this 12 days after his shooting? Kind of strange to go there and kind of strange to just now tell this story. We all know there was no Temecula Police present per all the other articles, and we all surely know that a Parole Agent with the CDCR Deadly Force Investigations Team, is NOT a Temecula Police Officer. Professional Enforcement Officers do not put on a sense of urgency or panic, they are not trained that way. They would yell at him to put his hands up, stop police, all that nice stuff. When running, or driving the cab into the police vehicle and when reaching for his waist band, they would yell "get down" which "your witness" apparently heard. (Boy her testimony just went down the drain). The suspect STILL did not stop or get down. HE did not "put up his hands" which the TAXI driver heard. We all know there was no high speed chase, there was never one mentioned in any articles I read. Why would the Officers have a dog? Why would they go against all training and try to maim this fugitive, who had not obeyed one order issued to him that EVERYONE else heard. Even to go as far as telling the Taxi driver, reportedly, that the suspect said NO, I am not putting my hands up.?
Brenda February 25, 2013 at 01:21 AM
Part 2 VWDS, Whether Temecula PD would have handled it differently or not we will never know but I bet they will have a 3D training video made of that scene to reference in the future. Living so close to this incident is how many families do you think VW? How many houses could that man have gotten into with these families in them as he ran and they chased, like they did the week before and lost him? How many hostages would he have taken? How many guns could he have stolen out of those houses? How many days would this have went on until he was killed anyway because he was not going to go back to prison, he was going to run and run he did try to do. He was not going to be taken alive and he proved that.
On the right side February 25, 2013 at 07:34 AM
He made BAD CHOICES over and over again. Bad things then happen as a result. If you keep doing the same DUMB things, you will eventually get burnt. Doesn't seem very hard to figure out. HIS CHOICE!!!!!!!!!
Brenda February 25, 2013 at 07:55 PM
True Keepn it, I didnt consider that large part of it.
Gandhi February 25, 2013 at 10:09 PM
You're talkin to a brick wall here Sophie, BELIEVE ME! They neither comprehend what you're saying nor will they EVER, not until someone they love goes up against "authority" will they get it, and possibly not even then. They spout off contiuously about their constitutional rights and yet they conveniently seem to forget that this man had a right to a trial, if needed, and to be judged by a jury of his peers! NOT some cops with "itchy trigger fingers"! And NO, there was NOBODY in mortal danger when they shot him in the back. He did NOT "ram" a police car, the cab was out of control after he was hit with a tazer, from what I have READ in the Patch and relatives and people who were there. Brenda, just what IS your "history of law enforcement"? may we ask? Could explain a LOT of your rude tude on here.
Gandhi February 25, 2013 at 10:12 PM
And YOU "MamaG" KNOW that he was a threat?? Sorry, according to our constitutional rights he had a right to be judged by a jury, not by YOU! Nor by a bunch of cops pumped up on adrenaline and needing to change their pants!! Your comments above are rude, arrogant, thoughtless, and heartless, not to mention, inaccurate, unfactual and uncalled for!! I believe I already told her to ignore you and others on here, so dont go acting all "benevolent" towards Sophie, she can see a wolf in sheeps clothing as well as I can. JUDGE NOT LEST YE BE JUDGED!!!
Gandhi February 25, 2013 at 10:13 PM
I hope YOU have such an "accident" some day Bob, or someone close to you, karma. Rude, nasty, ignorant people abound here on the Patch!!!
Gandhi February 25, 2013 at 10:17 PM
"On the right side" YOU are on the WRONG side, AGAIN! Why are you so afraid to post your real name here anyway? Seeing your verbal vomiting here I can guess why.
Gandhi February 25, 2013 at 10:20 PM
Oh thank you for those wise words of advice "Billy Bob"!! Your name fits your thought process well by the way. He was NOT a felon, I've heard nothing in these stories about drugs, he was hit by a tazer and that is why he accidentally hit the police vehicle, you people just LOVE making up stories here don't you? Do we have a witness to all this stuff you are trying to pass off as facts?? Until then, please remember one wise saying " Be sure to engage brain before starting mouth"!
Gandhi February 25, 2013 at 10:23 PM
Again, Michael, I will repeat for you, NOBODY, besides Brenda, has brought up his "reaching into his waistband" anywhere that I can find! Also, do you think the cops wouldnt lie about this to justify killing him? I know full well they would, believe me, my uncle was shot and killed just like this! So, at least I am speaking from personal experience, unlike the rest of the Patch right wingers on here.
Gandhi February 25, 2013 at 10:29 PM
And for all you right wingers whining about taxes, and how glad you are that they shot this man so it will SAVE you a few tax dollars - I gotta newsflash for YOU! I guarantee when his family sues, and wins, which they will, we will be paying out FAR more money than if he had been simply captured, had his day in court, and possibly had to serve some more jail time! So much for your rotten comments, not even logical, let alone decent!
Gandhi February 25, 2013 at 10:31 PM
But Brenda, dear, I'm not INTERESTED in anybody elses comments, just YOURS!! ;) Guess YOU need to re-read all MY postings to others here, hmmmmmm? Nobody said what you said here in the WAY you said it! And YOU can stop stalking me, I see you post every single time I do on every single story!! Getting really old, really fast, get a life.

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