The second suspect in a gang-related shooting last month awaits trial after his recent arrest.
The 18-year-old suspect, Antonio Lopez, appeared in Madera County Superior Court via video Monday. Judge Ernest LiCalsi informed him he’d be held on $2.5 million bail. At his Tuesday morning arraignment, Lopez was ordered to return on April 27 for a preliminary setting by Judge Dale Blea.
Madera police arrested Lopez last Thursday for the attempted murder of two alleged members of a rival gang last month.
The shooting occurred on the evening of March 6 in the 300 block of Stenson Street, according to Madera Police Det. Sgt. Mark Trukki. One victim was reportedly shot in the area of the lower chin, while the other had been wounded in the back. Both victims were taken to Community Regional Medical Center in Fresno.
An investigation by Madera police quickly resulted in a first arrest in the case, made by the department’s Special Investigations Unit (SIU). “Information was developed that identified Ricardo Gutierrez as being involved,” Trukki said, “and he was subsequently arrested the following morning.”
Further investigations led to the arrest of Lopez by SIU, in cooperation with Madera County Probation, a month after the shooting.
Gutierrez, 19, lived in the neighborhood where the shooting took place. He is alleged to have started a confrontation with the victims by calling them derogatory names based on their suspected gang affiliation. After leaving, Gutierrez reportedly returned with Lopez to the home where the argument took place. It was here, Trukki said, that one of the suspects opened fired, though the identity of the shooter himself is still under investigation.
“We have evidence that they are both directly involved with the planning and execution of the shooting,” Trukki said. “Ricardo was found with a loaded (gun) when he was taken into custody, so the actual trigger man himself is not known exactly.”
Lopez and Gutierrez are both in Madera County Jail on attempted murder, conspiracy and gun-related charges, as well as charges related to gang activity. They could face life sentences in state prison if convicted.