WATSONVILLE (CBS SF/BCN) — A 19-year-old known gang member has been arrested in connection with a fatal shooting in Watsonville last month that apparently occurred while he was heavily intoxicated and fired a gun while playing with it in a car, striking the vehicle’s driver, police said Wednesday.

Watsonville police said Ricardo Garcia was arrested last Friday for the Jan. 7 killing on South Green Valley Road.

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Ricardo Garcia booking photo, arrest in Watsonville on Feb. 12, 2021. (Watsonville Police Dept.)

Investigators determined Garcia was intoxicated and in the backseat of a car the 30-year-old victim was driving. After firing the gun, hitting the victim in the upper torso, Garcia allegedly fled but eventually returned to the crime scene after hiding in a nearby mobile home park, police said. The victim, a friend of Garcia’s, died at the scene, police said.

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Officers arrested Garcia after he returned to the crime scene for allegedly being drunk in public. Eventually, Garcia was identified as the suspected shooter, and he was re-arrested Friday on the 1400 block of Freedom Boulevard on suspicion of involuntary manslaughter and being a prohibited person in possession of a firearm, according to police.

He remained in custody in Santa Cruz County Jail on $100,000 bail.

 

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