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Botched home-invasion robbery ends in deadly Rialto shootout

May 19, 2011 12:35:16 AM PDT
Police are looking for two suspects after a botched home-invasion robbery turned shootout left two people dead in Rialto.

The incident unfolded on the 900 block of North Beechwood Avenue at about 8:45 p.m. Wednesday.

"I thought somebody was knocking at my door, that's what it sounded like," said neighbor Sherae Williams. "It was like four or five hard knocks."

But they weren't knocks, they were gunshots. Fired not only by the three suspects who stormed into the home, but by the people already inside who were armed as well.

"It's evident that the homeowners seemed to be expecting them," said Rialto resident Lamar Allen.

Police say one person living in the house was shot and killed. That person has not been identified. Two suspects who stormed the home were also shot when the people inside returned fire.

The three suspects ran out of the house, and two of them got into a van that was waiting and took off. The other suspect ran up the street but fell to ground due to his gunshot wound. He was taken to the hospital where he died.

Earlwin Johnson is the suspect who was killed. Andrew Stewart and Fort Arther were later caught by police after a brief pursuit. They will both be charged with murder. Two other suspects were able to get away.

At the scene, several weapons were recovered including an assault rifle. Detectives said it appears the suspects were trying to rob the victims for drugs.

"It was described as chaotic, scary," said Lt. Joe Cirilo from Rialto police. "Shocking to know that this type of shooting happened in this neighborhood."

A manhunt is under way for the remaining suspects. Anyone with information is urged to call Rialto Police at 909-820-2524.

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