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SALINAS — Salinas PD have announced the March 30th arrest of 25-year-old Charles Gutierrez as the primary suspect in the 2015 homicide of 22-year-old Eliot Cerna Guerrero.
Sufficient evidence pointed to Gutierrez, who was arrested following the issue of a search warrant on Thursday morning at his home on the 500 block of Santa Marina Street.
The original incident occurred on August 8th, 2015, when police were contacted by Natividad Medical Center and informed of a gunshot victim who’d arrived at their emergency room. Guerrero was pronounced dead shortly thereafter.
Investigation determined that the shooting took place at 150 Sherwood Drive, where the victim was allegedly confronted by several gang members who challenged his gang affiliation. When one of the surviving victims tried to drive away to diffuse the situation and avoid confrontation, Gutierrez opened fire on the vehicle, killing Guerrero and narrowly missing the juvenile sitting behind him.
Given that the incident was being investigated as gang-related, Gutierrez’s name had come up early in the investigation. Detectives began collecting and reviewing evidence, as well as interviewing witnesses, until they had sufficient evidence to present the case to the Monterey County District Attorney’s Office.
Salinas PD collected additional evidence of the shooting and secured a warrant for him, as well as any additional evidence. When it came time to make an arrest, officers surrounded the house and Gutierrez went without incident.
He is now housed at the Monterey County Jail.