Porterville police make arrest in murder of grandfather

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A man has been arrested in the murder of a 71-year-old grandfather in Porterville. (KFSN)

Family members of a 71-year-old grandfather who was murdered over the weekend in Porterville want to know why a stranger, who is now the suspected killer, pulled the trigger.

"My little brother who is 2 years old ran inside the house that night and all he said was in Spanish was, 'My grandpa fell.' He doesn't understand. He just said, 'My grandpa fell,'" the victim's granddaughter, who asked not to be identified, told Action News.

She says her family was coming home from a birthday celebration at midnight on Saturday when they heard a single gunshot. "I just remembered he gasped and then the ambulance took over." She added, "I can't think of any reason something like this could happen. We have nothing to do with gangs or anything like that."

Police say 29-year-old Steve Gutierrez pulled the trigger using a stolen handgun before relatives pinned him down. "When officers arrived, they were able to get that person into custody and they located a firearm that was believed to be used that killed the victim," said Sgt. Dominic Barteau.

Investigators have not released the name of the victim who was in the South Valley visiting his grandkids from Mexico. Officers are revealing Gutierrez had a history of drug problems. Now they're working to find out why he targeted an elderly man who was spending time with his family.

Anyone with any information is asked to call the Porterville Police Department.

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shootinghomicidehomicide investigationmurdertulare countyPorterville
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