Man Accused Of Shooting Woman Then Holding Her Captive 26 Days
A 37-year-old man was arrested on Monday for allegedly shooting a woman in the chest, and then holding her and their 7-year-old son captive in a Rancho Cucamonga apartment for 26 days.
Rancho Cucamonga Police Dept.'s Public Information Officer Teresa McMahon tells LAist that the suspect, Michael Venegas, said the woman is his wife, but authorities have not verified that yet. The woman, who has not been identified, told police that the incident stemmed from an argument they had on April 1 in a home located on the 10800 block of Terra Vista Parkway, NBC Los Angeles reports. As she packed her things to leave the home that night, Venegas, who is a paraplegic and uses a wheelchair, reportedly shot her in the chest with a 9 mm handgun. The bullet went through her chest and exited her back.
That's when he held her and their son hostage for the next few weeks, McMahon told NBC Los Angeles. "He locks the door, leaves her in the bathtub for like a whole day, 24 hours, comes back to check on her thinking she's probably dead and she's not," McMahon said. "She basically nurses the wound for the next 26 days."
Police told CBS Los Angeles that Venegas wouldn't allow the woman to get treatment for her wound. She quietly stayed in the home for weeks because she feared for her and their son's life. But she finally managed to escape and get to a hospital for treatment. Police were called into the hospital around 8:50 p.m. on Sunday when a social worker contacted them about the woman's story, according to the Press-Enterprise. Authorities haven't released any information on how the woman escaped.
San Bernardino County sheriff's deputies went to apartment on Monday and asked Venegas to surrender. However, when he didn't come out, they used a camera attached to a roving robot to find him. That's when they knocked down his door and took him into custody.
Venegas faces charges of attempted murder, false imprisonment and kidnapping. He is scheduled to be in court tomorrow.
Neighbor Brenna O’Sullivan told CBS Los Angeles that she had noticed that the back bedroom window had been covered in aluminum foil, but had no idea that was the room where the woman was nursing her bullet wound. Another neighbor, Mo Aboufares, said that he called police after hearing a gunshot nearly a month earlier, but authorities said they don't have any record of his call.
Anyone with information regarding this incident is urged to contact the Rancho Cucamonga station at 909-477-2800.