Suspect Allegedly Shot Dana Point Man, Then Fled in His Mercedes

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After a manhunt involving U.S. Marines, Border Patrol agents and bloodhounds, a man was arrested Monday morning in connection with the nonfatal shooting of a man at a home in Dana Point, authorities said.

Julian St. John, 40, of Orange was detained about 2:50 a.m. after being found by park rangers near a gate at San Clemente State Beach, off Basilone Road (map), according to a news release issued by the Orange County Sheriff’s Department.

St. John was subsequently arrested on charges of attempted murder and assault with a deadly weapon, and was being held at the Intake Release Center in Santa Ana in lieu of $500,000 bail, the statement said.


Julian St. John, 40, is seen in a booking photo. (Credit: Orange County Sheriff’s Department)

The initial investigation into the shooting began around 10 a.m. Sunday at a home the 32500 block of Crete Road (map), the Sheriff’s Department said.

The victim, described only as a 56-year-old man, was discovered with a gunshot wound to the hand and lacerations to the head, according to the Sheriff’s Department.

He was taken to a local hospital and treated for injuries. His condition was not known.

The suspected shooter fled the scene in the victim’s vehicle, a Mercedez-Benz SUV, the statement said. About 30 minutes later, a pursuit ensued on the 5 Freeway and ended a short time later in San Onofre near the border of San Clemente.

“Sheriff’s deputies recovered the abandoned stolen vehicle and located a handgun that is believed to be the weapon used in the shooting,” according to the statement.

Resources from the Border Patrol and the U.S. Marine Corps assisted Sheriff’s Department’s bloodhounds with the search Sunday afternoon, authorities said.

Shortly before 6 p.m., the Sheriff’s Department tweeted that the active search had been “terminated,” but that investigators were looking into other leads.

It was not known whether there was a relationship between the shooter and the victim, sheriff’s Lt. Jeff Hallock said.

St. John was scheduled to appear in court Tuesday.

KTLA’s Doug Kolk, Amrah Khan, Tracy Bloom and John A. Moreno contributed to this report.