The man believed to have pulled the trigger was arrested Wednesday night after an hours-long standoff with Covina police.
Trevor Howard Thompson, 34, was subdued with non-lethal rounds and taken into custody almost four hours after he was spotted by a witness. Thompson was armed with a handgun at the time of his arrest, which investigators suspect may have been the firearm used to kill Casias.
It was not immediately clear Thursday what charges prosecutors intend to file. Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Office records show that Thompson is being held in a Covina lockup and is due back in court on Dec. 28.
Police: Joey Casias Shot by Burglar
Law enforcement sources told reporters that Joey Casias, a Covina resident and father of three, was with a neighbor at about 11 p.m. Tuesday when the pair spotted a man allegedly trying to break into a car.
The suspected thief ran off, but the neighbors tracked him down a few blocks away, police said. When they confronted him, the would-be carjacker opened fire, hitting Casias before fleeing, according to reports.
When first responders arrived, the California dad was declared dead at the scene — leaving behind a wife and three children only days before Christmas. Police circulated a description of the suspect that night.
Trevor Howard Thompson Arrested
The next afternoon, several witnesses called 911 to report seeing a man who matched the description of Casias’ killer in an outdoor patio near a Covina apartment complex.
“I wasn’t sure whether I should call or not, and then I thought, if it is him, he took someone’s life,” one witness told CBSLA.
Police set up a perimeter around the building while the suspect fled inside, authorities said. Armed and presumed dangerous, officials said Thompson stayed barricaded in the apartment complex for hours. He fired a single shot during the standoff, but no one was hit.
“After nearly a four-hour standoff, Thompson climbed out of the patio, with a handgun, and attempted to flee on foot,” the Covina Police Department said in a statement Wednesday night.
“Officers used less [than] lethal rounds to subdue Thompson and safely took him into custody,” the department added. “A handgun was recovered.”
Online records filed by the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Office show Thompson was booked in a Covina detention center late Wednesday. He’s due in Pomona Municipal Court early on Dec. 28, presumably for his arraignment.
Jail records say the alleged burglar is being held on suspicion of a felony, but no exact charges are specified. His bail amount is listed as $3.5 million, though that figure may be a placeholder until the 34-year-old can be arraigned.
Family of Joey Casias in Mourning
Casias’ friends and loved ones told reporters that the 38-year-old was a UPS employee of 19 years, a loving father and husband, and a friendly neighbor.
The family was preparing to celebrate Christmas and was looking forward to an upcoming vacation to Disneyland when Casias died Tuesday night.
“Joey was the guy that would always give the shirt off his back,” wrote a friend on a GoFundMe page set up to help with funeral costs. “He was the guy that would give his last dollar if you needed it. He was the guy that this world needs more of.”
“On behalf of Chief of Police David Povero, the entire Covina Police Department, City Council and staff of Covina, our hearts go out to the victim’s family,” authorities said after Thompson’s arrest. “They are in our thoughts and prayers.”