Police have arrested a 20-year-old clerk in connection with the fatal shooting of a 21-year-old Oxnard man who was walking his dog the day after Christmas.
Joaquin (Jack) Ayala Jr. was booked into Ventura County Jail on Saturday on suspicion of murder. Bail was set at $500,000.
Oxnard police arrested Ayala, a shipping and receiving clerk, at his job in northeast Oxnard without incident, said Sgt. Cliff Troy.
Ayala is suspected of shooting Josue Carrera of Oxnard, who was found dead with a single gunshot wound to the chest about 8:30 p.m. Dec. 26 on a sidewalk in the 600 block of West Hemlock Street in south Oxnard. Ayala had allegedly been driving around and Carrera walking his dog at the time of the shooting.
"The suspect and the victim didn't know each other," Troy said. "Supposedly, there were some words exchanged between the two and the suspect responded by shooting him."
Police have not yet recovered the weapon. The shooting is not believed to be gang-related, although both the victim and Ayala were onetime gang members, Troy said.
Ayala's apprehension followed a "very complex" investigation conducted by Oxnard police and the district attorney's office, Troy said. Key information leading to Ayala's identification came from the Ventura County Crime Stoppers and national WeTip programs, he said.
"To my knowledge, this is our very first Crime Stoppers [arrest]," Troy said. "Without that we would not have been able to put this [case] together."
Ayala is expected to be arraigned Tuesday afternoon in Municipal Court.