SAN JOSE (CBS SF) — Police have arrested a man in the fatal shooting of a San Jose State University student hit by a stray bullet while in car in downtown San Jose Saturday, a police spokesman said Thursday.
Johnny Lozano, 23, was arrested Wednesday evening on suspicion of murdering Kimberly Joyce Chico, 19, police Sgt. Jason Dwyer said.
Chico was a passenger in the car around 1:20 a.m. Saturday in the area of South Second and East San Salvador streets when she was struck by gunfire and died soon afterwards at a hospital, Dwyer said.
Chico started at the college last year and was to resume taking classes there on Aug. 20, according to university spokeswoman Pat Lopes Harris.
The teen just happened to be in the line of fire when she was hit, Dwyer said.
“At this point we’ve determined that she was a completely innocent victim,” Dwyer said. “She happened to be an occupant in a vehicle that was driving by when literally bullets were flying in the air.”
“She was an unintended target and happened to be at the wrong place at the wrong time,” Dwyer said.
Police are still trying to determine the reason shots were fired, which also had nothing to do with Chico’s friend who was driving the car, Dwyer said.
At first, police had little to go on at the scene of the shooting, Dwyer said.
But then detectives “ended up identifying certain people at the scene that we wanted to come into contact with and perhaps explore further what their involvement may have been or why they were there,” Dwyer said.
On Wednesday, an officer working overtime with the department’s gang suppression unit was on patrol in South San Jose looking for people wanted for questioning in Chico’s death, Dwyer said.
Around 5:15 p.m., while driving in the area of Senter and Coyote roads, “he observed several individuals who he thought resembled the people he thought we may have been looking for,” Dwyer said. “He made contact with them.”
One of the persons, identified as Lozano, turned out to be a felon possessing a loaded gun and the officer arrested him on suspicion of being a felon with a firearm, Dwyer said.
Lozano was interviewed that evening by homicide detectives “and ultimately we developed information that he was involved in the homicide,” Dwyer said.
Police arrested him on suspicion of homicide and booked him into the Santa Clara County Main Jail, Dwyer said.
Police are analyzing the gun Lozano was carrying to see if it was used in the shooting, Dwyer said.
The officer who located and arrested Lozano “did an outstanding job,” Dwyer said.
The murder was the 30th of the year in San Jose. The city recorded 25 murders by the same time last year, Dwyer said.
“It’s very tragic that this young lady was murdered,” Dwyer said.
“Our heart goes out to her family,” he said. “They are taking it very hard. Our detectives obviously are taking this case very hard, because that could have been anybody driving the street hit by a stray bullet.”
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