Shooter in SLO County crime spree identified, details released

August 18, 2023


The man who allegedly shot two people during a crime spree in San Luis Obispo County on Thursday has been identified as 41-year-old Joshua Arnold of Visalia, according to the Grover Beach Police Department.

Arnold’s crime spree included two shootings, grand theft, an attempted carjacking and breaking into a unoccupied residential unit. Arnold is facing three counts of attempted murder along with charges of attempted robbery, attempted carjacking and felon in possession of a firearm and ammunition. He remains in the SLO County Jail with his bail set at $1 million.

At about 1 p.m., Arnold shot a male clerk in the neck at the 7-Eleven on Grand Avenue in Grover Beach. Responders transported the victim to a local hospital for treatment of a non-life-threatening injury.

Driving a black Mustang, Arnold  headed south to Nipomo where he attempted to rob a smoke shop, police said.

He then drove to SLO, where he attempted to jack a car near the Panda Express on Froom Ranch Way. Shortly after 3 p.m. Arnold shot at the vehicle as the driver left the scene. A bullet struck a passenger in the car. The driver then drove to a local hospital where his passenger received treatment for their injury.

Following up on a tip, officers located the suspect near a home on Legacy Avenue in the San Luis Ranch development and took him into custody at about 4:30 p.m.

He was unarmed, but police were advised that two other people were inside the residence and possibly armed.

Officers secured the area and asked residents to shelter in place. Shortly after 8 p.m., officers determined the home was empty. They later recovered Arnold’s gun at a nearby model home.

SLO County Observer filmed much of the incident in SLO:

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I was at TJ Maxx during the incident. I was told there were 2 perps? And that they caught both of them? But I guess not. Joshua Arnold, your Momma must be so proud! I have questions though: was he alone, was the mustang a car jacking too? where is the mustang? did his friends ditch him and that’s why he was attempting to carjack again?..LoL He’s not a talented criminal. He botches the crimes and He keeps getting caught! He “attempted” to rob a smoke shop? Seriously sounds like he is wanting to go back to prison?