SANTA ROSA (CBS SF) — The manhunt intensified Friday for a female Crips gang member who is wanted in a deadly home invasion robbery that left one victim dead and a second injured in unincorporated Sonoma County outside Santa Rosa.
The Sonoma County Sheriff’s Office issued a statewide alert for Amber Hembree, who was last seen by a surveillance cameras as she fled the scene of a vehicle pursuit that ended in a crash in Vallejo on Thursday.
Three other suspects were taken into custody shortly after the crash. On Friday they were identified as Tyrone Mcrae, 25, of Jackson, Mississippi; Mussie Himed, 27, of Santa Rosa; and David Ealey, 23, of Richmond, Virginia.
Another suspect, Jonathan Jackson 19, of Richmond Hill, was busted Thursday night outside a hotel in Santa Rosa.
Authorities said Hembree — who goes by the nickname Skittles — is a documented member of the Crips street gang from Richmond, Virginia, and should be considered armed and dangerous.
“Last time we saw her was in Vallejo,” said Sonoma County Sheriff’s Sgt. Spencer Crum. “Our understanding is she has no contacts in Vallejo, no friends, no family. Our guess is that she’s trying to get out of Vallejo and back to the East Coast.”
Hembree and four others alleged staged two home invasion robberies on Thursday morning. Authorities said they were first alerted to the crimes by 911 calls at about 6:45 a.m.
The first home invasion robbery happened off Fulton Road west of Santa Rosa around 4:20 a.m. There the first victim was shot, but is expected to survive.
The second victim was reportedly shot multiple times after the same masked men broke into his home on Melcon Lane at around 6:45 a.m. First responders tried to revive him, but the man died from his injuries.
“There were multiple people in each house. One was shot at the Fulton address, then another at the Melcon Lane house,” said Sonoma County Sheriff’s Office spokesperson Misty Harris.
Deputies also said the home invasions were connected.
“Both of these appear to be marijuana related, so we believe that’s the tie in,” said Harris.
Several guns were also stolen from the second home. Deputies said that makes it clear the crooks knew what they were after.
Crum says Hembree is likely running out of options.
“This is armed and dangerous crew. I don’t know what type of gun she has on her. This is a very violent crew,” said Crum. “There was no provocation, to my understanding, why they shot these men. We don’t know. She certainly has the potential to be dangerous out there in the public.”
In an investigation covering two counties, the sheriff’s office has a few questions.
“Why did they target Santa Rosa? Why did they come to California?” asked Crum.
There is speculation it could be a violent side effect to California’s new law legalizing recreational marijuana. With many pot growers in the state going legit, there is now a shortage of weed supplying the black market.
“What we said when Prop 64 is coming about, you can’t just legalize it one state. Because that’s going to drive the prices down in one state and make it peaceful for one state possibly, but the rest of the states don’t have consistent laws like ours,” said Crum. “So it’s still a very valuable commodity in places like Virginia and New York and so forth that haven’t legalized it.”
The weed that is legal in the Golden State is being funneled back into the black market across state lines with little sign of abatement.
“What might be really cheap here and you can get here. It’s easy to get. It’s abundant here,” explained Crum. “”You could take it back and make two, three, four times your money in a different state.”
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