Family says Christmas Tree Lane shooting death not a home invasion

Published 03/25 2014 06:11PM

Updated 03/25 2014 11:38PM

BAKERSFIELD, CA - No one was home at 4108 Christmas Tree Lane when we went there Tuesday, but a new door handle was recently added.

The home belongs to David Espericueta. The Kern High School District said he is a former math teacher at Foothill High School, but was placed on paid administrative leave January 28. The district declined to reveal the nature of his leave, but Espericueta is still listed on the school's website.

Bakersfield Police said Monday morning, the homeowner fired a 12 gage shotgun through his bedroom door, which killed 35-year-old Shawn Christian Ibarra, after Ibarra forced his way in and threatened the homeowner's guest.

Police would not confirm if Espericueta fired the shot or confirm the names of the occupants because no charges were filed against them.

"I just want to clear my brother's name," said Ibarra's oldest brother, Allen Ibarra. "I'm reading a lot of stuff that he was home invasion and looking to rob somebody and burglarize a home. That's not who my brother was."

Allen Ibarra said his brother went to the house to collect money owed to him by the house guest.

"They crossed my brother and he went to go handle business that was owed to him," said Allen Ibarra. "If somebody owes you money or owes you something, you need to pay up."

Allen Ibarra declined to say why his brother was owed money, but police confirmed the dispute was over property. Several attempts were made to contact potential family members of Espericueta, but we were unsuccessful.

Allen Ibarra said his brother's problems with drugs and crime mostly began after a family tragedy twelve years ago.

"Anybody who lost their daughters would have issues. They were very young. Two of them that died in a fire in '02."

An article from the Ukiah Daily Journal said two young children died in a trailer fire in Ukiah on April 25, 2002. Their mother, Angela Ibarra, was at a casino and had a 15-year-old neighbor periodically check-in on the girls.

When she came home at 1 a.m., the camp trailer was engulfed in flames. Four-year-old Hannah Ibarra and five-year-old Tessa Childress died.

On his Facebook page, Ibarra posted a picture of his tattoo that reads: "In loving memory, Tessa, Hannah."

Allen Ibarra wants people to know who his brother was to him.

"Shawn was always there at a moment's notice to help anyone who called him," said Allen Ibarra. "He was there to save you. If you needed help, Shawn was there. He always looked out for everybody. He hated bullies. Shawn was not a bully, he was there for you."

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