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EXCLUSIVE UPDATE* Arrest made in shooting near Fallbrook High School; suspect and victim both identified as felons
Wednesday, February 15th, 2012
Issue 07, Volume 16.
Thomas Mark Hall, 27, a transient who stays in both Fallbrook and Oceanside, was arrested at a drug rehabilitation facility on Coastal Way in Vista. Hall, who is a felony parolee, has been booked into the Vista Jail on charges of attempted murder, armed robbery, and a felon in possession of a firearm.
Sheriff’s Sgt. Joe Montion said Hall allegedly shot Fallbrook resident Brandon Siewert in the face with a semi-automatic handgun.
"Our detectives worked virtually around the clock to find this individual and make the arrest; they did a ton of work as it was a long trail to identify this person," said Lt. Robert Haley, commander of the Fallbrook Sheriff's substation.
"This was an example of great police work."
Haley said after the shooting, "[Hall] checked himself into [drug] rehab at a facility in Vista."
Following the arrest, detectives began processing the scene where Hall was located. Further investigation led detectives back to another Fallbrook home this evening where the gun used in the shooting was located as well as another firearm that had been in Hall’s possession at the time.
"We have now located both of the firearms," confirmed Montion. "The semi-automatic was the one used in the shooting."
Haley said initial information provided by witnesses at the scene of the shooting was not accurate.
"[Hall] is not Hispanic; he is Caucasian," said Haley. "He also does not have any gang affiliation. And there did not appear to be anyone with him."
Haley said detectives are continuing to interview individuals, and Montion stated Detective Tom Vrabel assumed the lead in the investigation.
"We are trying to piece together all the details and are still conducting interviews," said Haley.
Montion said that the victim "is still alive, in critical condition, in the hospital." Unofficial sources said Siewert has been placed in a chemically-induced coma due to his injuries.
North County Fire arranged for the victim to be transported by air to Palomar Hospital Trauma Center after they responded to the emergency call regarding the shooting.
Initial interviews with Siewert were challenging, Haley said, because the victim was "somewhat uncooperative." Siewert himself had an outstanding felony warrant, relating to a prior narcotics charge.
Haley said there was an 18-year-old femaleinside the home at the time of the shooting and another male was inside the residence just prior to the incident.
In a previous interview relating to the crime, Haley said the residence where the shooting took place was "a house familiar to our deputies."
*This story was updated Wed., Feb. 15, 2012 at 9:45 p.m.
(previous story, Wed., Feb. 15, 2012, 12:15 p.m.)
Attempted murder near high school has officers searching for suspect
Sheriff's deputies and detectives are searching for a suspect who shot a man this morning inside a home three blocks from Fallbrook High School.
North County Fire paramedics and Sheriff's deputies responded to the emergency call at approximately 10 a.m. (Wed., Feb. 15) in the 900 block of Buena Suerte Street in Fallbrook.
"A 19-year-old male suffered a wound to the head," said John Buchanan, public information officer for North County Fire. "Our paramedics arranged for him to be taken by medical helicopter to Palomar Hospital Trauma Center."
Sheriff's Lt. Robert Haley said the victim was "shot in the face" by a suspect who has been identified as a Hispanic male in his 20s, wearing dark clothing.
"The suspect has also been described as having a small mustache and tattoos on both arms," said Haley.
Haley said the victim, whose identity has not been released, is being "somewhat uncooperative" and it is thought that the victim "knew the suspect."
"The victim himself had an outstanding felony warrant – relating to possession of narcotics," said Haley, who added that the victim was not a gang member. It is unknown whether the suspect in the shooting has gang affiliation.
Haley said it did not appear that there had been forced entry into the home, but details are still not clear as to how the incident occurred.
"There was also an 18-year-old female inside the home who is considered a witness, but she claims her view of the situation was minimal as the victim blocked her view," said Haley.
Haley said the house was familiar to deputies as other law enforcement calls have taken place there.
"It's definitely a house we have been to in the past," he said.
The Sheriff's Dept has utilized the ASTREA helicopter in its search for the suspect, but it is believed he is no longer in the immediate area.
"We have launched a full investigation and our team is working diligently on it," said Haley.
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