VISALIA – The Tulare Sheriff’s Department arrested a man in connection to the 2012 death of a gang member who died after the vehicle he was in was shot at and then crashed.
Detectives with the Violent Crimes Unit obtained a warrant for the arrest of 26-year-old Amador Ortiz on Dec. 11. The next day, they located him during a traffic stop and placed him under arrest. A subsequent search of Ortiz’s residence in Visalia resulted in a stolen handgun.
Ortiz is the second suspect to be arrested in connection to the death of Cruz Medina on July 2012. Detectives arrested Uriel Magallanes for his involvement in November of 2012.
The incident happened on July 24, 2012 when the CHP responded to a report of a single vehicle rollover traffic accident at Rd 156 and Ave 362 in Visalia. Medina was found underneath the vehicle and was pronounced dead at the scene. Two other victims survived and were transported to local hospitals. The driver was found to have a gun shot wound to the face.
Detectives determined that the victims had been shot at by a passing vehicle.
“The driver had been shot and lost control of the vehicle, causing it to crash and overturn,” according to the sheriff’s department.
An autopsy revealed that Medina also had a gun shot wound to the ear. However, the cause of his death was determined to be blunt for trauma to the head due to the car accident.
All three victims had gang ties.
Ortiz was booked into the Tulare County Main Jail on charges of murder, participating in a gang crime, conspiracy to commit a crime, and possession of a stolen firearm.
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