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Valley Springs Home Invasion Ended With One Dead

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Valley Springs, CA – Two men were suddenly awoken when a man crashed through the door of their Valley Springs home, a struggle ensued resulting in the death of one of the men.

Calaveras Sheriff’s detectives are still investigating the incident that began at around 12:25 a.m. on Sunday (Oct. 10) when dispatch got a call for a forced entry at a home in the 7000 block of Gabor Street in Valley Springs. Sheriff’s spokesperson Lt. Greg Stark relayed that the intruder was identified as 28-year-old Lennin Elizalde of Valley Springs.

When deputies arrived, they began to question two of the men found standing in the front yard, who recounted that Elizalde had kicked the front door open. Lt. Stark detailed, “He [Elizalde] immediately started attacking one of the occupants sleeping in the living room and knocking him to the floor. That startled the other occupant who was in another room sleeping and he exited out [of the room] with a pistol. He tried to stop the altercation, however, the suspect continued towards him, attacking him and he subsequently fire the rounds.” Elizalde was struck in the upper torso several times and fell to the floor. Lt. Stark added that it was a small-caliber pistol.

Deputies conducted a sweep of the home and Elizalde was discovered deceased with several gunshot wounds and detectives were called to the scene. They learned that this was not the first time deputies were called to the home. In fact, the day prior (Oct. 9) around 11 a.m. deputies were called to the residence for a trespassing and vandalism report. The incident involved the two residents, who had recently purchased the house from the suspect’s father, coming home to find Elizalde inside after breaking into a side door to enter the residence. The new owners demanded that he leave the residence, but he refused, and they called 911. Before running from the home,  Elizalde threatened the men and told them he would return.

A while later, Elizalde was spotted by a deputy patrolling the area and arrested for illegal entry into a dwelling, vandalism, and possession of methamphetamine, all misdemeanors. Lt. Stark relayed, “While in the patrol vehicle Elizalde told the deputy that the residence was still his property and that he intended to return to the home. He also claimed that another person had damaged the door, although he admitted to entering the residence.” That threat prompted the deputy to “complete an application for bail increase based on the circumstances and statements,” according to Lt. Stark, which was subsequently denied by a judge, and he was released from jail that evening.

Both assault victims were taken to a local hospital and treated for minor injuries and released. Neither were arrested or cited in the incident. Lt. Stark disclosed that an autopsy and complete toxicology report on Elizalde are pending. He added that this is an ongoing investigation no further information is available at this time.