Suspect apprehended hours after authorities call off active search near San Onofre Beach

By Andrea Papagianis and Jim Shilander

Julian St. John, 40, of Orange was arrested in connection with a Sunday shooting in Dana Point. Photo courtesy of the Orange County Sheriff’s Department
Julian St. John, 40, of Orange was arrested in connection with a Sunday shooting in Dana Point. Photo courtesy of the Orange County Sheriff’s Department

A suspect in a Sunday morning shooting that left one injured in Dana Point, and who prompted a more than five-hour, multi-agency manhunt near the San Onofre nuclear plant was apprehended early Monday, authorities confirmed.

Authorities suspended their search of San Onofre State Beach and surrounding areas around 5:30 p.m. Sunday after deputies from Orange and San Diego counties, U.S. Border Patrol and U.S. Marine Corps failed to produce the suspect, said Orange County Sheriff’s Department spokesman Lt. Jeff Hallock.

Julian St. John, 40, of Orange was eventually detained by California State Park rangers at approximately 2:50 a.m. off Balisone Road in San Clemente, according to a sheriff’s department press release.

St. John was arrested on charges of attempted murder and assault with a deadly weapon.

The ordeal began around 10 a.m. Sunday after sheriff’s deputies responded to a shooting in a Monarch Beach neighborhood. Deputies responded to a home in the 35000 block of Crete Road and discovered a man who had suffered non-life threatening gunshot wounds, Hallock said.

Paramedics arrived on scene minutes later and treated a 56-year-old man who was shot in the hand and suffered lacerations to his head, said Orange County Fire Authority spokesman Capt. Steve Concialdi. He was transported to an area hospital and was expected to survive.

Concialdi said the victim was talking to authorities on scene before being transported.

An investigation immediately ensued and with the victim’s help authorities identified St. John as the suspect. Hallock said the preliminary investigation revealed the two men knew each other.

The suspect fled the scene in the victim’s Mercedes Benz SUV, authorities said. Deputies located the vehicle near San Clemente and attempted to pull the driver over. A failed stopped resulted in a southbound pursuit on Interstate 5. The suspect was traveling at a high rate of speed. The pursuit ended off of Baslione Road near the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station, Hallock said.

Authorities recovered the SUV and a weapon inside believed to be involved in the shooting, Hallock said.

St. John is being held at the Intake Release Center in Santa Ana on a $500,000 bail. He is scheduled to be in court on Tuesday, March 11.

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