Third homicide suspect turns self in
Suspected murderer Arnold Sanchez, 19, is behind bars after turning himself in late Friday night.
The Porterville Police Department reports that Sanchez, a resident of Strathmore, surrendered himself at 11 p.m. Friday at the Porterville Police Department. Sanchez was wanted in connection with the shooting death of Salvador Garcia on the night of Feb. 3.
Following questioning by PPD officers, Sanchez was booked at the Tulare County Main Jail in Visalia in lieu of $1 million bail on pending charges of homicide, accessory to homicide and participation in a criminal street gang.
Sanchez, who police warned was armed and dangerous, was the third suspect arrested in connection with Garcia’s killing. Also arrested were Porterville residents Federico “Freddie” Mejia, 29, and Adriana Jaimez, 29, during a series of warrant services on Feb. 5. Mejia faces charges of homicide, criminal possession of a handgun and participation in a criminal street gang. Jaimez may be charged as an accessory to homicide and participation in a criminal gang.
According to the PPD, Mejia and Sanchez approached the victim shortly before midnight on Sunday, Feb. 3, as he sat in a parked car at a convenience store at 699 S. Plano Ave., and assaulted him. One of the two men then allegedly shot Garcia in the chest, and the two fled the area in a car driven by Jaimez.
Garcia was driven by friends to Sierra View Hospital where he expired, making him the city’s first homicide victim of 2013.
On Tuesday, Feb. 12, the PPD’s SWAT team served a search warrant at what they believed was Sanchez’ residence. He was not found, however, officers discovered additional evidence linking him to the attack on Garcia. Police said they believe Mejia was the shooter.
Prosecutors with the Tulare County District Attorney’s Office believe Garcia’s murder was gang-related. Authorities have stated they do not believe Garcia had any gang connection, but his attackers do.
Anyone with information regarding Garcia’s killing is asked to contact the PPD at 782-7400.
Contact Dave Adalian at 784-500, Ext. 1043, or firstname.lastname@example.org.