Shooting suspects still at large

1 nearly nabbed

April 21, 2002|By RICHARD MONTENEGRO, Staff Writer

A Calexico man wanted on suspicion of attempted murder narrowly escaped capture by Stanislaus County Sheriff's deputies April 11 when he was pulled over on a traffic violation.

Michael "Suni" Bañuelos Sr., 42, of Calexico, who is wanted in connection with the March 4 shooting of 23-year-old Julio Perez, was stopped by deputies near Modesto while driving a 1965 Chevy Impala registered to Bañuelos and his wife, according to Calexico police Lt. Jill Tangedal.

Bañuelos' son, Michael "Peanut" Bañuelos Jr., 21, of Calexico, also is wanted on suspicion of attempted murder, for being an accessory and on a probation violation. Both men remained at-large Saturday, Tangedal said.

The elder Bañuelos, when pulled over by Stanislaus deputies, fled on foot and was chased into a residential neighborhood before getting away, Tangedal said. His car, however, was impounded by sheriff's officials.


Further information on the traffic stop was unavailable and Stanislaus County sheriff's officials did not return phone calls seeking information late last week.

Tangedal said photographs of both Bañueloses are being sent to Stanislaus County in case either suspect attempts to claim the impounded vehicle.

Calexico police had received reports that both suspects were seen in Yuma before and around Easter.

The shooting of Perez occurred about 6:30 p.m. in the 500 block of Grant Street, briefly after Perez went to the Bañueloses' home in the 800 block of Pierce Avenue.

"It all happened very quickly," she said, adding, "They definitely knew each other. This was nothing random."

While Tangedal wouldn't say what the altercation stemmed over, she said it was not gang-related.

Perez, who according to Tangedal is still rehabilitating from his wounds, was shot five times — in the head, abdomen, chest, arm and leg.

While a weapon has yet to be recovered, Tangedal said spent shells recovered from Perez's injuries have been sent to the state Department of Justice for analysis. Police think a .22-caliber pistol was used in the shooting.

At the time the shooting was reported, police received reports of shots fired in the 800 block of Pierce. As officers responded, more reports came into the station that more shots were being fired on Grant.

Apparently, according to police, Perez was confronted by an assailant on Pierce. He then fled, jumped a fence and ended up in a carport on Grant where the suspect, who had been following him, opened fire.

Tangedal said Calexico police have told the Bañuelos family that Bañuelos Sr. was spotted in Stanislaus County and that the two suspects should turn themselves in.

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