Authorities continue to round up suspects in Porterville homicide
PORTERVILLE — A total of nine people have now been arrested in relation to a murder that took place in Porterville earlier this year.
On May 17 around 4 p.m., Erick Andrew Garcia was shot in front of the Family Market at Belleview Avenue and Palm Street. Detectives believe that Rafael Gonzalez and his brother Jose were responsible for the shooting. Rafael Gonzalez was found and arrested in Las Vegas on June 22. His brother was arrested in Porterville on the same day. They are both being held on murder charges.
Meanwhile, detectives have been searching for those who may have helped the two brothers flee from the area after the crime. More than 60 arrest warrants and court orders have been handed out by the Porterville Police Department’s Special Investigations Unit since the homicide, according to Sgt. Jake Castellow.
“Detectives have continued in their effort to identify and hold responsible any person assisting Rafael and Jose Gonzalez avoid apprehension and prosecution for the murder,” Castellow said.
Shortly after the murder, police arrested four men, including two other brothers of Rafael and Jose Gonzalez, for helping the suspects flee. They were Norberto Gonzalez, Juan Gonzalez, Jacinto Luna and Eli Valdovinos. On July 22, Gerardo Quintero Barraza was arrested in Porterville on charges of being an accessory to murder and for being in a street gang.
Most recently, two men were arrested in Bakersfield on the same charges. Anthony Gomez was arrested on July 29, followed by David Moore on Aug. 3.
“The Porterville Police Department’s objective is to arrest all suspects who were involved in any manner with this homicide,” Castellow said.