Homeowner shoots and kills violent repeat intruder

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VALLEY SPRINGS, CA – On October 10, 2021, at about 12:25 AM, the Calaveras County Dispatch Center received several 911 calls from a person in the 7000 block of Gabor Street in Valley Springs. Due to poor cellular service from the caller’s phone, the dispatchers were only able to determine the address and that a person had forced entry into the caller’s residence. Upon arrival, deputies contacted two males in the front yard of the residence. They told the deputies that an unknown male subject, later identified as Lennin, had kicked the front door open to gain entry into the residence and began physically assaulting them.

One of the male victims reported that he had shot the intruder while defending himself. The assault victim believed that the intruder was deceased and they had exited the residence while waiting for the arrival of law enforcement. While clearing the interior of the residence, the deputies located a male suffering from what appeared to be a gunshot wound. Emergency Medical personnel declared the male deceased at the scene.

Detectives were summoned to the residence and began an in-depth investigation. The detectives spent the night and morning interviewing witnesses, evaluating and collecting physical evidence, and gaining information on recent calls for service regarding this residence. During this time, the deceased male was identified as Lennin Elizalde (28 years old of Valley Springs). The occupants told detectives that suspect Lennin kicked in the front door and attacked the victim who was sleeping in the living room. During the altercation, one of the occupants were knocked to the floor. While on the ground and while attempting to stand up and fight off Lennin, the second occupant discharged his pistol more than one time towards Lennin. Lennin was struck and fell to the floor. Due to injuries sustained during the attack, both assault victims were taken to a local hospital for injuries sustained by Lennin’s attack. Both victims were later released. The victims notified Detectives that Lennin was arrested earlier in the same day for breaking into the previous residence.

During a records search, the detectives learned of a prior call for service involving Lennin and the occupants of the residence. That call had occurred during the previous day, October 9, 2021, at 11:00 AM, when patrol deputies were dispatched to a trespassing and vandalism report at the same address on Gabor Street. During this investigation, deputies learned that the occupants of the house had recently purchased the residence via a real estate company. During the moving process, the two occupants of the house returned to their new residence and discovered the suspect Lennin Elizalde inside.

In that incident, Lennin had entered the residence by breaking through a side-door of the residence. Detectives were able to determine that Lennin was the son of the former owner of the residence. The new owners demanded that Lennin leave the residence, however, Lennin refused. The new owners advised Lenin they called 911. Lennin left the home before the deputy’s arrival after making threats to both of the new occupants. Lennin also informed the occupants that he intended to return to their residence. Lennin was later contacted in the area by patrol deputies and was arrested for illegal entry into a dwelling, vandalism, and possession of methamphetamine (all misdemeanors). While transporting him to jail, Lennin informed the deputy that be believed that the residence was still his property and that he intended to return to the home. Lennin claimed that another person had damaged the door, although he admitted to entering the residence.

While at the jail, the patrol deputy recognized the threat presented by Lennin based upon his unconditional statements regarding his intent to return to the residence. The patrol deputy completed an application for bail increase based on the circumstances and statements. The bail enhancement was subsequently denied by a judge. Due to Lennin only having misdemeanor arrest charges, (in 2014 Proposition 47 reduced possession of methamphetamine to a misdemeanor) he was released from jail on 10-09-21 at 6:20 PM.

During their investigations after the shooting, Detectives noted that Lennin had no legal right to occupy or return to the residence. The residence was completely vacant when it was purchased by the new occupants and Lennin did not have any personal items or legal reason to return.

The Calaveras County District Attorney’s Office was contacted and made aware of the incident. The occupants of the residence were not arrested or cited and the investigation is continuing. An autopsy and complete toxicology report on Lennin is pending.