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VENTURA COUNTY NEWS

Woman Fatally Shot in Dispute in Santa Paula

Crime: Argument after a soccer game claims life of visitor to house next-door to park. The 21-year-old is described as an outgoing person who loved pets.

November 09, 2000|CATHERINE BLAKE | SPECIAL TO THE TIMES

SANTA PAULA — A 21-year-old woman was fatally shot after an argument in a Santa Paula residence "got out of hand," family members of the victim said Wednesday.

No arrests have been made in the shooting, which occurred at a house next to Las Piedras Park about 7:30 p.m. Tuesday.

Shortly before the shooting, Joanna Marie Orozco and Shane Joseph Longoria, 22, drove to the house adjacent to the park to pick up a friend.

A man inside the house was suspicious of Longoria, asking if he was a gang member, Longoria said from his Fillmore home Wednesday, adding that he is not.

The pair left the house after less than two minutes, Longoria said.

Within seconds, he said, the man fired at Orozco, killing her, and started to fire at Longoria, who ran from the car. He was struck in the arm and was released from a hospital early Wednesday after treatment.

Santa Paula police declined to say Wednesday whether the shooting may have been gang- or drug-related.

Sgt. Carlos Juarez said the shooting occurred after an evening soccer game attended by dozens of people. He said many bystanders reported hearing yelling before the shooting.

"Right now there is a lot of finger-pointing and blaming other people," he said. "You don't know how many people I've heard who say someone different did it."

On Wednesday, about 10 members of the Santa Paula woman's family, including most of her six siblings, gathered near the site of the shooting, lit colored candles and cried over photographs. They described her as having been at the wrong place at the wrong time--a peaceful person who loved animals and was liked by others.

"She didn't know these people. This wasn't her crowd," said Angie Paz, her sister-in-law. "She was just with them."

Her older brother, Joey Orozco, described her as having a strong and outgoing personality. "If she doesn't like what you're saying, she'll say something back to you," he said.

The group fondly remembered that Orozco would pick up stray animals. One of her dogs, a Chihuahua, had recently given birth to a litter of puppies. "She was calling everyone like a proud parent," said Christine Orozco, her sister. "She had a love of pets."

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