Four individuals involved in attempted carjackings throughout Porterville early Thursday morning have been arrested.
Raymond Murrieta, 19, Isaac Aguilera, 18, and a 16-year-old male and 15-year-old male have all been arrested.
Shortly after 1 a.m. Thursday, Porterville Police Officers responded to ampm on Jaye near Highway 190 for a report of a carjacking that just occurred. The victim told officers he was approached by four male suspects with one being armed with a handgun.
The suspects ordered the victim out of his vehicle while threatening to shoot him. The suspects then got into the vehicle and fled the area.
Minutes later, officers responded to a residence in the 1500 block of West Morton Avenue for a drive-by shooting that just occurred. A residence was shot at several times with nobody being injured.
Officers obtained surveillance footage of the shooting which showed the vehicle that had been carjacked, pulling up with several rounds being fired at the residence. The vehicle then fled the area.
Then minutes later officers responded to the intersection of North Westwood Street and West Henderson Avenue for a traffic collision that just occurred. Officers discovered the vehicle that had been carjacked and used in the drive-by shooting had been traveling northbound on Westwood Street and ran the red light at Henderson Avenue, colliding with a westbound vehicle.
The four occupants of the vehicle quickly fled on foot, leaving the scene of the collision. The other motorist received minor injuries as a result of the collision.
The suspects fled into nearby neighborhoods to the north with one suspect knocking on doors of residences. A short time later, officers located and arrested Murrietta in the general area. He was identified as one of the suspects involved.
On-call detectives were summoned and assumed the investigation. Shortly after arriving, detectives located the 16-year-old male attempting to hide in the area of Westwood Street and Westfield Avenue and arrested him without incident.
At approximately 8:30 a.m. Aguilera was located in the area of Westwood Street and Nancy Avenue. He was identified as one of the four suspects involved, and he was taken into custody without incident.
Detectives with the Porterville Police Department’s Special Investigations Unit took over the investigation and were able to identify the fourth suspect after reviewing video surveillance footage of the 15-year-old male fleeing the crime scene. Detectives continued the search for the 15-year-old and located him at about 5:10 p.m., arresting him in the area of Morton Avenue and Plano Street without incident.
Detectives were able to locate the handgun used in the crimes, along with additional physical evidence linking all four suspects to the crimes.
All four are suspected gang members and were arrested for attempted murder, carjacking, conspiracy, and participating in a criminal street gang. The 15-year-old male was additionally charged with hit and run causing injury, as he was determined to be the driver of the vehicle at the time of the collision.
Murrietta and Aguilera were booked at the Tulare County Jail where their bail has been set at $600,000, each. The 16-year-old male and 15-year-old male were booked at the Tulare County Juvenile Detention Facility.
Anyone with information regarding this incident are encouraged to contact the Porterville Police Department at (559) 782-7400.