OXNARD, Calif. - An Oxnard man has been arrested after police say he fired multiple gunshots at a loss prevention officer following an attempted shoplifting at an Oxnard grocery store.
On New Year's Eve, two men entered Vons at 1291 South Victoria Avenue, grabbed two cases of beer and left the store without paying. A loss prevention officer confronted the men and grabbed one of the suspects by his shirt, causing him to drop the stolen beer.
The suspect pulled a gun from his waistband and fired at the head of the loss prevention officer, narrowly missing and causing temporary hearing loss.
The suspect ran to a nearby vehicle and again shot at the loss prevention officer, missing again.
The suspects got away from the scene before police could arrive. Witnesses described the suspect vehicle as a white SUV, possibly a 2005-2011 Chevrolet Trailblazer with out-of-state license plates.
The following day, Port Hueneme police officers were dispatched to a fight at the beach on the 500 block of East Surfside Drive. Officers arrived on scene and observed a subject fleeing the scene holding his waistband. During a brief foot pursuit, the suspect threw the handgun. He was eventually apprehended and the handgun was recovered.
The suspect was identified as Juan Ayala, 20, of Oxnard.
During the Port Hueneme investigation, police discovered that Ayala had a set of keys to a white Chevrolet Trailblazer with Idaho license plates. Knowing about the previous night's robbery, Port Hueneme police contacted the Oxnard Police Department’s Violent Crimes Unit.
Investigators reviewed surveillance video of the beer theft and identified Ayala and another man as the theft suspects. Ayala was later identified by witnesses as the shooter.
Ayala, who was in custody at the Ventura County Jail from the Port Hueneme incident, was contacted by police and now faces charges for robbery and attempted murder.
Anyone with additional information about the crimes is asked to contact the Oxnard Police Department at (805) 385-7796. An anonymous tip can be left by calling the violent crimes hotline at (805) 982-7070 or Ventura County Crime Stoppers at (800) 222-8477. You can also submit an anonymous tip by text or email by visiting the Ventura County Crime Stoppers website.