An example of a handgun being aimed. Photo from Pixabay.
An example of a handgun being aimed – not connected with alleged crime in the story. Photo from Pixabay.

A convicted felon accused of fatally shooting a Riverside man in a Jurupa Valley canal was charged Monday with first-degree murder, with a special circumstance allegation of killing a witness to a crime.

Shaun Daniel Tara of Jurupa Valley, who also faces an attempted murder charge and sentence-enhancing gun and great bodily injury allegations, was arrested Thursday in Pomona following an investigation by the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department.

He’s being held without bail at the Byrd Detention Center in Murrieta and is slated to make his initial court appearance Tuesday at the Riverside Hall of Justice.

Detectives had been searching for Tara since the Aug. 17 slaying of 32-year-old Jeremy Amerson. According to sheriff’s Sgt. Ben Ramirez, about 2:40 that morning, the defendant allegedly confronted the victim in an empty flood control channel that crosses underneath Van Buren Boulevard, just west of Bellegrave Avenue, and shot him multiple times.

Witnesses called 911, and patrol deputies reached the victim a few minutes later, initiating CPR, according to Ramirez. Amerson died before paramedics could transport him to a hospital.

Another man at the location was also allegedly targeted by the convicted felon, but that victim, whose identity was not disclosed, was not struck by gunfire.

Tara was identified as the alleged shooter, and a search was initiated, ultimately leading to Pomona, where he was taken into custody without incident shortly after midnight Thursday near the intersection of Gary Street and Holt Avenue.

The prior incident that led Tara to allegedly plot and carry out the killing was not detailed in court papers.

According to court records, he has prior convictions for gun assault, being under the influence of a controlled substance, being a convicted felon in possession of a firearm and carrying a concealed weapon.

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