New details have emerged about the Anaheim Police Department’s recent SWAT team raid of a human trafficking ring that followed an officer shooting a suspect in Anaheim, California.
Anaheim Police told The Epoch Times that nine trafficking victims were rescued in the morning raid. Three suspects were arrested—one of whom was shot by police—and another suspect remains at large.
Sgt. Shane Carringer told The Epoch Times that the human trafficking victims were from Mexico and were being held for ransom when the Anaheim Police Department first dispatched investigators on Nov. 8 and then sent a SWAT team to the scene on Nov. 9.
Relatives of one of the victims alerted the police on Nov. 8 that their family member “had been trafficked across the border from Mexico into the United States.”
“And that smuggling operation turned into a kidnap-for-ransom operation when the smugglers demanded more money for the victim’s safe return,” Carringer said.
The Early-Morning Shooting
Carringer said the shooting occurred after Anaheim Police detectives arrived on the scene to investigate an apartment complex on North Syracuse Street.
“The shooting occurred in a residential/commercial section of Anaheim,” Carringer said, in apartments that are north of Lincoln Avenue. “Lincoln’s a major strip here in Anaheim.”
Carringer said officers set up surveillance at the location on the night of Nov. 8—but the incident began the following morning.
“Just before 6 a.m., one of our surveillance members—one of our detectives—was confronted by an adult male subject. During that confrontation an officer-involved shooting occurred,” he said.
The suspect was shot at least once “in the torso,” near the “abdomen area,” according to Carringer.
“That male adult subject ran southbound on Syracuse into a nearby mobile home park, maybe a couple thousand feet away. He was located in that mobile home park and taken into custody,” Carringer said.
“He was struck by police gunfire. He was wounded, but he will survive his injuries.” The suspect, who was not identified, was then transported to a local area hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.
Carringer said the officer was unharmed, and there was only one shooter. A handgun was recovered on the path where the suspect fled.
The SWAT Team Liberates the Victims
The Anaheim Police Department SWAT team arrived at the apartments with a search warrant between 8 a.m. and 8:30 a.m. on Nov. 9, eventually surveying multiple units.
“During the service of that search warrant, they encountered numerous individuals, including the original victim of the kidnap-for-ransom scheme … the person who generated the call,” Carringer said. “That subject turned out to be a 17-year-old male Hispanic from Mexico.”
Carringer said there were “eight other individuals inside the apartment that were smuggled from Mexico into the United States,” and they were “awaiting payment from family members to be released.”
One of the other victims was a female adult; the other seven were adult males.
Carringer said police currently have three people in custody: two adult Hispanic males, including the one from the officer-involved shooting and another found at the apartment, and a juvenile Hispanic male who was also involved in the kidnap-for-ransom scheme.
He said the suspects will all be charged with kidnapping. Their names were not released.
“We don’t charge smuggling—that’s a federal crime,” he said. “We are charging a kidnap-for-ransom scheme—that’s a state charge.”
Police are now working to make sure the victims are reunited with their families.
“Any of the victims that have family in the area will be reunited with family members,” Carringer said. “We do have some victims that don’t have any sort of resources or family in the area. We’re going to work with them to find some housing solution, until we can get them reunited with their families.”
Evidence found at the scene, including the handgun discarded by the shot suspect, will be presented when the Orange County District Attorney investigates the officer-involved shooting as required.
“The shooting is being investigated by the Orange County District Attorney’s Office. They handle all of our officer-involved shootings,” said Carringer.
“I can confirm with you that they did locate a gun. But after that, all the evidence, all the statements—our officer gives a statement at the DA’s office if he chooses to—all that stuff’s handled by the DA’s Office and is not handled internally.”
However, police are still looking for a vehicle that dropped off the suspect at the scene prior to the shooting.
“There was a black Toyota Camry that had dropped off the suspect that was involved with the officer-involved shooting, and the driver of that Camry fled after the shooting, so we’re trying to find that Camry,” Carringer said.
“We don’t know if it’s a man or woman driving. We have no idea.”
Anyone who sees a black Toyota Camry with the license plate number 8BXD306 and a Minnie Mouse bumper sticker is encouraged to notify a local law enforcement agency.