HEMET (CBSLA.com) — Authorities Thursday said a person of interest was in custody and being questioned in the shooting deaths of a married couple in Hemet.
A neighbor in the Riverside County mobile home park reported hearing gunshots around 8 a.m. near the 5000 block of West Florida Avenue, the Sheriff’s Department said.
“My wife said she heard four gunshots, and there were some other people who said they heard four gunshots early in the morning,” Louie Castellanos said.
Castellanos said he was close friends with the victims.
“Nobody disliked them; it’s mind boggling,” Castellanos said. “They played golf. They were in ceramics with my sister. It’s very sad.”
Police did not name their person of interest but said it was someone the couple knew and was related to.
KCAL9’s Crystal Cruz spoke to police Thursday evening about the person they had in custody.
“We still have to interview them and see what their involvement is,” said Hemet Police Lt. Eddie Pust.
An unidentified man and a woman (he was 71 and she 68) were found dead inside the home. Several neighbors said the victims were very active in sports and craft programs in the community.
“We’re all shocked,” Castellanos added.
Neighbor Patti Scarff echoed that sentiment.
“They were great people,” she said, “always upbeat. Happy.”
Across the street from the house, KCAL9’s Tom Wait said there was more crime scene tape around a dumpster and a bicycle parked next to it, downplaying the rumor that the deaths could have have been a murder-suicide.
No one who knew the couple thought that was likely.
Cruz spoke to neighbor Mike Stagnitto who said the couple was really friendly.
He was also the one who tipped police off about the bike.
“It was a nice bike so I remembered it and when the cops came this morning for the shooting I was telling them about the bike and what it looked like,” Stagnitto said.
He told police he heard six shots about a half hour after first seeing the bicycle.
“I got the bike in my head very clear and they took a picture and brought it over and showed them which one it was,” he said.