Tachi tribal member suspect in Kings County murder, authorities say

KINGS COUNTY, Calif. (KFSN) -- A murder mystery is unfolding in Kings County. Investigators believe they know who's responsible for the killing and he may have financial ties to one of the most prominent Native American tribes in the area.

Kings County Sheriff's investigators are looking for two suspects in the murder of a man ten days ago, who was found shot to death outside Lemoore.

Investigators say the gunman is a Tachi tribal member who has been trying to get access to money the past few days to leave the area. Deputies say the suspect and his accomplice knew the victim and they targeted him.

Hours after Brandon Mims was shot to death, a farm irrigator found his body in a slough near 15thand Jersey avenues. Assistant Sheriff Dave Putnam says Rolando Thomas is the shooter, and Ralph Jones assisted in the crime during the morning hours of February 12th. Both are wanted and considered armed and dangerous.

Assistant Sheriff Dave Putnam said, "We do believe it was involving the drug trade and there was some relation between he and the suspects, and that relation obviously went bad."

The victim's longtime friend describes Brandon Mims as an outgoing guy who always made everyone laugh and liked to have fun.

"Very athletic, very talented and it's a shame that he's gone," said Zach Currin. "People look at him for his flaws but everyone is flawed and for the most part, he was a really great guy."

Deputies say Mims was shot several times in the torso. Detectives have interviewed witnesses and backtracked the victim's final days alive. They have also collected clues that have led them to Thomas and Jones.

"Surveillance video was a factor," said Assistant Sheriff Dave Putnam. "Everywhere has video, so we have obtained some video but its evidence that we can't release at this point."

Investigators have not found the murder weapon, but they did find the suspect's car abandoned last week in Tulare County.

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