Arrests made in fatal Madera shooting involving girl, 8

November 29, 2012 12:00:00 AM PST
A Madera family is mourning the death of an 18-year-old, killed in the same shooting that injured a little girl. And now police say they have two possible suspects in custody.

Madera police have identified the victim of Wednesday night's homicide as Alejandro Vazquez. The shooting happened at Tulare and Wessmith. The victim's twin brother and an eight-year-old girl were injured.

Two teenagers are in custody, they're believed to be tied to the shooting, but police are still searching for the gunman.

Authorities say the eight-year-old girl is recovering after being shot in the arm, and an 18-year-old boy is okay after being shot in the foot. But his twin brother did not survive.

Rosa Vazquez gathered with friends near a memorial to grieve the death of her brother, Alejandro. The 14-year-old says she witnessed his murder.

"I just saw him over there telling them stuff, and then they got out of they started shooting," Vazquez said. "So I grabbed my friend, and we ran."

Vazquez says she returned to the area moments later and saw her brother's body in the street. She said, "Seeing him die as my brother, it's painful."

Madera police say the shooting happened hours after an argument near Enterprise Continuation School, where at least one of the people involved was a student. Commander Dino Lawson says the suspects later spotted Alejandro in a neighborhood across town.

"Suspect stopped the vehicle, exited, and a physical altercation occurred," Cmdr. Lawson said. "At some point during that physical altercation the suspect pulled out a handgun, and fired it, striking the victim twice."

The bullets also hit Alejandro's twin brother in the foot, and an innocent eight-year-old girl. An ambulance rushed her to the hospital.

Cmdr. Lawson said, "She resides in the neighborhood and was out walking with her uncle at the time, going to the store, and one of the stray bullets struck her in the arm."

Police have now arrested 18-year-old Luiz Gonzales and another teenager, who they believe are tied to the shooting. But they're still searching for the gunman. Meanwhile, Vazquez is remembering her Alejandro as a loving brother who she says tried to leave the gang lifestyle behind.

Vazquez said, "Now he's in a happy good place, and he'll always be in our hearts and we love him, and wherever he is we'll be there with him."

Police say they have strong leads on the gunman in this case, and another arrest could come soon.


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