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VENTURA COUNTY NEWS

Truck Burglary Suspect Fatally Shot by Owner

Crime: The man had recently been released from jail when he was killed during a confrontation. Police say they aren't sure if there will be an arrest.

November 09, 2000|TIMOTHY HUGHES | TIMES STAFF WRITER

An Oxnard man died early Wednesday after he was shot once in the back by the owner of a truck he was reportedly trying to vandalize, authorities said.

Ricardo Hinojosa, 22, was pronounced dead shortly after 1 a.m. at St. John's Regional Medical Center in Oxnard.

Police suspect that Hinojosa, who had recently been released from jail after a string of misdemeanor offenses, was attempting to break into the Ford F-150 pickup truck parked on Percy Street in south Oxnard.

The truck's owner ran outside and confronted Hinojosa, said Oxnard Police Sgt. Jim Seitz.

"He hears his car being broken into, he arms himself, has a conflict with the suspect and fears for his life," Seitz said. "Based on the evidence found at the scene, we did not think that we could effect an arrest."

Seitz said detectives are continuing their investigation and will turn over their findings to the district attorney's office early next week.

The gun used in the shooting as well as the pickup truck were taken as evidence, Seitz said.

Seitz said the truck owner told investigators he had been the victim of vehicle burglars several times.

A man answering the door at the home of the truck owner would not give his name or comment on the shooting.

Joanne Rochin, who lives across the street from where the shooting occurred, said neighbors have talked about several vehicle burglaries in recent weeks on the block.

Rochin said the shooting startled her.

"They were right outside my front window. Police were digging through my grass," said Rochin, who has lived on the street for the past 10 years.

Deputy Medical Examiner Mitch Breese said Hinojosa died of a single gunshot to the back from a 9-millimeter handgun.

Seitz said Hinojosa was dropped off at Percy Street by a female friend who was later questioned and released by police.

He declined to give additional details of the shooting.

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