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.

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.

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


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