“California DOJ special agents work daily to remove firearms from those who are, by law, prohibited from possessing them. It is a very dangerous job and we are relieved that no officers or civilians were hurt during this standoff with an armed subject who was shooting at officers.” – CSLEA President Alan Barcelona
COSTA MESA – On October 5, 2022, California Attorney General Rob Bonta and the Costa Mesa Police Department (CMPD) announced the arrest of a suspect in Costa Mesa after a more than eight-hour standoff involving special agents from the California Department of Justice (DOJ) and CMPD officers.
The suspect was prohibited from owning firearms due to a misdemeanor conviction for domestic violence, and had an active misdemeanor arrest warrant. The suspect was identified through the Armed and Prohibited Persons System (APPS) program by DOJ.
“I want to thank our incredible agents and law enforcement partners in Costa Mesa,” said Attorney General Rob Bonta. “Each and every day, special agents from the California Department of Justice work to take illegal firearms off our streets and out of the hands of dangerous individuals. Today, Costa Mesa is that much safer, because of their brave efforts. I am incredibly relieved that nobody was hurt during this incident.”
“I want to thank our community for their cooperation and understanding as we worked to bring this dangerous incident to a safe conclusion,” said Costa Mesa Police Chief Ron Lawrence. “I also want to thank our allied agencies, especially the police departments of Huntington Beach and Newport Beach, as well as the California Department of Justice, for their professionalism and cooperation on this investigation.
On Wednesday, Oct. 5, 2022, at approximately 10:30 a.m., CMPD assisted California DOJ special agents with a warrant service in the 1700 block of Monrovia Avenue. DOJ had identified Luis Mendez Jr. of Whittier through the APPS program, as being prohibited from possessing firearms. The special agents had a warrant to seize his weapons and attempted to serve that warrant when Mendez discharged a firearm. The special agents and officers retreated and deployed an unmanned aircraft system. Again, Mendez discharged a firearm in the direction of the agents. Community members in the immediate area were asked to shelter in place through helicopter notifications. The CMPD Special Weapons and Tactics and Crisis Negotiation Teams responded to assist and the surrounding businesses were evacuated.
After more than eight hours of negotiations, Mendez surrendered and was placed under arrest with no injuries sustained by law enforcement or Mendez. Officers recovered a rifle, a shotgun, and multiple handguns at the scene.
Mendez was later booked at Orange County Jail for multiple counts of attempted homicide of a law enforcement officer, assault with a deadly upon a law enforcement officer, and prohibited person in possession of a firearm. CMPD is investigating the incident and will be presenting the booking charges to the Orange County District Attorney for a filing decision.