4 juveniles arrested on drinking, drugs and graffiti charges
April 22, 2011 (El Cajon) – El Cajon Police have released new details regarding a shooting that occurred April 19 at 11 p.m. near Johnson Elementary School. Victor Charles Hernandez II, 28, was shot by Officer Jason Briley; the bullet passed through his wrist and lodged in his chest.
Four juveniles have been arrested in relation to the incident, including a 16-year-old from La Mesa and three minor teens from Lakeside.
According to El Cajon Police Lt. Mark Coit, officers responded to a radio call at Johnson Elementary School, 500 W. Madison. The reporting party told police dispatch they could hear people on the closed school campus drinking and causing a disturbance. Officers Ryan Briley, Jason Becker, and Adam Cunningham arrived at the school and began walking in from the northeast area of the campus.
A second call was received by dispatch stating that there were two juveniles tagging in the area of the school. One of the juveniles was overheard making a statement about stabbing someone. This new information was broadcast and additional units responded to the area.
As the officers approach two individuals on campus, the suspects ran in opposite directions. Officers Becker and Cunningham chased one of the suspects, while Officer Briley chased the second. The suspect ran around the corner of one of the buildings ahead of Officer Briley. Officer Briley continued his pursuit and rounded the corner of the building. The suspect, Victor Charles Hernandez II, jumped out from behind a planter at Officer Briley and extended his hand towards the officer as if he had a weapon.
Officer Briley, fearing for his safety drew his service weapon and fired one round, striking Hernandez in his extended arm. The bullet traveled through his wrist and lodged in his chest cavity. Hernandez was taken to Sharp Memorial Hospital, where he was treated for his injuries.
El Cajon Police Detectives responded to the scene and began an investigation. It was determined Hernandez did not have a weapon, but it is unclear why he jumped out at Officer Briley and simulated one. Hernandez had a tested blood alcohol level of .374 an hour after the shooting. Evidence found at the school confirmed the suspects were drinking and inhaling aerosol from cans of electronic dusters, an act known as “huffing.”
Hernandez is a local transient with prior arrests for being drunk in public, trespassing and vandalism.
The investigation led detectives to four juveniles who were with Hernandez at the school. In addition to drinking and “huffing” they were found to be responsible for an excessive amount of tagging to the school property. The estimate of damage and cleanup is expected to exceed $10,000.
Detectives used the Graffiti Tracker Program, which is a GPS based system used to combat graffiti, and connected the four suspects to at least seven other cases in the City of El Cajon. Detectives have located additional areas the juveniles are suspected of tagging and estimate the damage by this group could reach the tens of thousands of dollars. All of the juvenile suspects have prior contacts for loitering and vandalism. One has a prior arrest for robbery and one was a reported runaway.