Suspect in Exeter shooting walks after no charges filed

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Three weeks after a driveby shooting sent 14-year-old Vanessa Cruz to the hospital with a bullet lodged in her spine, Visalia police arrested Martin in connection with the crime. (KFSN)

Two days after he was arrested for attempted murder, an Exeter man will walk free Tuesday.

No charges were filed against 18-year-old Brendon Martin in court.

He was arrested by Visalia Police officers on Sunday afternoon in connection with a driveby shooting in Exeter last month.

Three weeks after a driveby shooting sent 14-year-old Vanessa Cruz to the hospital with a bullet lodged in her spine, Tulare County Sheriff's deputies arrested Martin in connection with the crime.

But charges were not filed against Martin, who was scheduled to make his first court appearance on Tuesday.

The Tulare County District Attorney's Office says police have more work to do before they move forward with Martin's case.

"Yeah, it's been a complete shock to me," Martin's mother Marylou said. "I love my son, and, it's not just that I'm a mother, it's just I know my son."

Martin's mother says her son wouldn't do something like this, and doesn't appreciate all the things that have been said about him since he was arrested.

"My son's not an Exeter gang member or a gang member period," Marylou said. "He's not."

But police say he is a Norteno gang member.

On the night of April 23 in Exeter, witnesses say a car slowed down and shouted gang slurs before shots were fired at Cruz and two others.

Police believe Martin is the one who shot Cruz.

But Martin's mother is standing by her son's side, calling him headstrong and a father figure in their family.

"We want to move forward, honestly, we do," she said. "We want to move forward. It's been a lot for my family. For my kids, myself, Brendon, it's been a lot."
Related Topics:
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