Man shot, killed at home of Foothill math teacher

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KBAK/KBFX) A man was shot and killed Monday morning during a home break-in on Christmas Tree Lane, near Columbus Street.

The coroner's office identified the man killed as 35-year-old Shawn Christian Ibarra.

Kern County court records show Ibarra has been in and out of prison for at least the past 10 years for convictions ranging from possession of a controlled substance to theft and receiving stolen property. In November, he was sentenced to three years in jail for car theft but released early under AB 109, police Sgt. Joe Grubbs said.

"It was just like a lot of racket this morning," neighbor and witness Veronica Hernandez told Eyewitness News later on Monday. "A lot of talking back and forth, it was an argument. I don't know."

Hernandez lives in an apartment across the street from the white house on the corner. She only cracked open her front door a bit to catch was was going on.

"I know this morning it was a girl and a guy outside talking," she described.

Police said Ibarra armed himself with a breaker bar and forced his way into the home through a door, threatening a guest of the homeowner.

The homeowner and his guest, whose name was withheld, barricaded themselves in a bedroom, and the homeowner fired once in self-defense, police said.

Ibarra was killed. No one else was hurt.

Police didn't say why Ibarra was threatening a guest.

Eyewitness News has confirmed through Kern County property records that the house in the 4100 block of Christmas Tree Lane is owned by David Espericueta. Lists of school personnel show Espericueta is a math teacher at Foothill High School.

Several neighbors said a man has lived in the house for quite some time, but there had just been changes in who was apparently staying there.

"Just recently when a new girl moved in," Hernandez said. "And I don't know who moved in, and who the occupants were."

Also living in the apartment across the street, Robin Beler said he just met one person who seemed to be staying at the house.

"I met a guy, Mike, who moved there a couple days ago," Beler told Eyewitness News. "Just met him on the street."

Beler said "Mike" was walking a small dog.

Police reported they got the early morning call about the disturbance at the house, but as officers headed that way they got more information about the shooting.

One neighbor, who didn't want to be identified, said she believes three people approached the house around the back. In the alley to the side, evidence markers could be seen by what looked like a damaged back fence.

A flashlight key ring could be seen on the ground, and also some markers or a pen.

That neighbor said she had heard a girl "yelling," saw the people go to the back, and then she heard a loud bang.

The street was blocked off as officers investigated the alley to the north of Christmas Tree Lane, and at least one block of Christmas Tree was also taped off for much of the morning. Investigators could be seen coming and going from the house.

Neighbors said they were puzzled and shocked by the deadly shooting.

"It's kind of crazy, if you ask me," Beler said. "This is a pretty nice neighborhood. We don't have anything like that going on here."