Man ID'ed in Placentia officer-involved shooting

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PLACENTIA (CNS) – Two investigations were under way today in the death of a suspected auto thief  shot by members of a multi-agency SWAT team in Placentia after he allegedly vowing not to be taken alive and pointing a double- barreled shotgun at police.

The shooting occurred about 3 p.m. Monday, when detectives from the Orange County Auto Theft Task Force went to a home in the 100 block of Orchid Avenue near North Bradford Avenue, as part of an investigation, Placentia police Sgt. Brad Butts said.

Joseph Paul Oregero, 57, of Placentia, was declared dead at UC Irvine Medical Center in Orange about 5:30 p.m., Monday, Placentia police Detective Corinne Loomis said.

As detectives tried to talk to Oregero, he ran off and, before they could catch up to him, hid inside a trailer behind the home, Loomis said.

As Placentia police detectives and officers were staging in a nearby building, two of the suspect’s friends called authorities, telling them that Oregero said he had a warrant and was armed with a shotgun, according to Butts. Oregero said he would kill or be killed before going back to prison, according to what his friends told police, Butts said.

Placentia police summoned North County SWAT, which comprises officers from Placentia, Fullerton, Brea, La Palma, La Habra and Cal State Fullerton.

Crisis negotiators tried in vain to contact the suspect, but instead of speaking with them, he emerged from the trailer pointing a double-barreled shotgun at police, Butts said, adding that SWAT officers from Fullerton and Brea opened fire on the suspect out of fear for their safety and that of their colleagues.

Nearby Valencia High School was on “lockdown” during the standoff, though classes were not in session.

Loomis said Oregero had convictions for unspecified violent felonies and drug-related crimes.

Oregero was convicted of misdemeanor grand theft and possession of a controlled substance with intent to sell in 2006. He was sentenced to a jail term and three years of probation, which was revoked in October of 2010, according to court records.

Investigators with the Orange County District Attorney‘s shooting team will oversee the shooting investigation. Placentia police also are doing an “administrative” investigation.

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