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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.

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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