San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department Patrol Vehicle in Action

Fontana, CA – February 28, 2024 – In a testament to the dedication and prompt response of the Fontana Sheriff’s Station, a critical incident unfolded on Monday, February 26, 2024, at approximately 9:06 p.m. when deputies received a 9-1-1 call reporting a shooting at a residence on the 18000 block of Santa Ana Avenue in the unincorporated area of Bloomington.

Deputies Dominic Rapisardi and Mark Smoot, part of the Fontana Station, acted with remarkable efficiency as they arrived at the scene to find a male adult victim suffering from multiple gunshot wounds. Displaying commendable skill, the deputies immediately administered life-saving measures before the victim was urgently transported to Arrowhead Regional Medical Center (ARMC).

The ensuing investigation unraveled a disturbing sequence of events involving a heated argument between the victim and the suspect, later identified as 22-year-old Armen Joshua Mata. The altercation escalated when Mata, in a reprehensible act, shot the victim multiple times before fleeing the location. The severity of the incident prompted Deputies Rapisardi and Detective Ryan Cook to spearhead an intensive investigation, resulting in the swift issuance of an arrest warrant for Mata.

The following day, on Tuesday, February 27, 2024, at approximately 7:09 a.m., investigators displayed exceptional diligence by locating Mata alone, seated inside his vehicle in a commercial parking lot in Menifee. Recognizing the gravity of the situation, members of the Menifee Police Department were alerted and provided vital assistance. At 8:58 a.m., a meticulously executed operation by the Menifee Police Department’s Special Response Team culminated in Mata’s peaceful detention without incident.

Mata was promptly transported to the Fontana Sheriff’s Station, where he underwent thorough questioning before being officially booked at the West Valley Detention Center. The charges levied against Mata underscore the severity of the alleged crimes committed during the Bloomington incident.

Simultaneously, in a meticulous process to gather evidence and ensure the safety of the public, Mata’s vehicle was towed to the Fontana Station. A search warrant, duly authorized, paved the way for a comprehensive search of the vehicle. To the investigators’ alarm, a loaded firearm was discovered meticulously concealed underneath the back seat. The recovery of the weapon underscores the potential danger that Mata posed to the community.

As the legal process unfolds, the victim, unfortunately, remains in critical condition at Arrowhead Regional Medical Center. The Fontana Sheriff’s Station extends its thoughts and support to the victim’s family during this challenging time.

The successful resolution of this case is a testament to the unwavering commitment of law enforcement to ensure the safety and well-being of the communities they serve. The Fontana Sheriff’s Station commends the exemplary efforts of Deputies Rapisardi and Smoot, as well as Detective Ryan Cook, for their dedication and professionalism in swiftly addressing this grave incident.

The collaboration between the Fontana Sheriff’s Station and the Menifee Police Department exemplifies the importance of inter-agency cooperation in the pursuit of justice. The Fontana Sheriff’s Station extends its gratitude to the Menifee Police Department for their crucial support in bringing the suspect into custody without further incident.

Anyone with information regarding this incident is urged to contact investigators at the Fontana Sheriff’s Station at (909) 356-6767. Callers wishing to remain anonymous are urged to call the We-Tip Hotline at 1-800-78-CRIME (27463) or you may leave information on the We-Tip Hotline at  

Refer: Deputy Rapisardi
           Deputy Smoot
           Detective Cook

Station: Fontana Station

Phone No. (909) 356-6767

Case No. 032400635

SHANNON D. DICUS, Sheriff-Coroner
San Bernardino County Sheriff-Coroner Department

SBSD – Fontana Sheriff’s Department
17780 Arrow Blvd
Fontana, CA 92335

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