Police were called about 11:30 p.m. Sunday by a family member of a 17-year-old human trafficking victim, Anaheim police Sgt. Shane Carringer said.
The suspects smuggled undocumented immigrants and then held them for ransom inside an apartment building on Syracuse Street north of Lincoln Avenue, Carringer said.
Police placed the apartment building under surveillance, and while officers were surveying the location, they were approached by a man now tied to the human trafficking scheme.
A confrontation ensued, resulting in the shooting around 6 a.m. in the 100 block of North Syracuse Street, according to Carringer.
The suspect, whose name was not immediately released, fled to a nearby mobile home park. Officers located him, and he was taken to an area hospital with non-life-threatening injuries, authorities said. A weapon was recovered.
Meanwhile, the SWAT operation continued with flashbangs deployed as they served a search warrant. Inside, they found the original victim and a mix of other victims and suspects, leading to three arrests.
“This was a fairly sophisticated operation, just by the amount of people they had here at one time,” Carringer said.
Investigators said some of the undocumented immigrants found in the apartment may not have been held against their will, and not all of them came from Mexico at the same time
“Some of those individuals appear to be here willingly, waiting for delivery to family members,” Carringer said.
Several suspects have been taken into custody, including the alleged ringleader according to police.
No officers were hurt in the incident. An investigation is ongoing.
City News Service contributed to this report.
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