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Ventura County

Man Killed, 2 Others Are Wounded in Hail of Gunfire

Crime: The three were leaving a friend's house in Camarillo when the shooter walked up and asked them where they were from. Deputies arrest four suspects.

July 08, 2002|TIMOTHY HUGHES | TIMES STAFF WRITER

A shooting on a Camarillo street left one man dead, two of his friends hospitalized with multiple gunshot wounds and four Oxnard men behind bars, sheriff's officials said Sunday.

Eric Robles, 18, of Oxnard was pronounced dead at the scene from a gunshot wound in the chest at 8:30 p.m. Saturday in the 100 block of Raemere Street, said Craig Stevens, senior deputy medical examiner.

It was the 12th homicide in Ventura County this year.

Julio Espinoza, 18, and Miguel Rocha, 19, both of Camarillo, were hospitalized after the shooting. Espinoza was in stable condition at St. John's Pleasant Valley Hospital in Camarillo on Sunday, and Rocha was being treated at St. John's Regional Medical Center in Oxnard. Their injuries were not considered life-threatening, officials said.

Ventura County sheriff's deputies arrested four men in Oxnard after the incident.

They were driving a black sedan that matched a description given by witnesses, Sheriff's Sgt. Harold Hanley said.

The men, whose names were not released, were booked on suspicion of murder and held at Ventura County Jail.

Investigators were still searching for a weapon late Sunday.

Hanley would not say whether the shooting was gang-related but was not ruling it out.

Witnesses said the three victims were shot as they got into a car on Raemere Street after visiting a friend. A gunman asked the men where they were from before he began shooting, witnesses said. On Sunday, friends placed flowers and candles on the patch of grass where Robles was killed. A wooden cross, bearing messages to the deceased, was placed at the site.

"He just wanted to go to school and do something with his life," Jose Robles said of his brother, who had attended Camarillo High School and taken classes at Ventura College.

Hanley said that Robles had had numerous contacts with the department's gang unit, and had been arrested June 30 for resisting arrest.

Robles was raised in Somis but spent most of his time on Raemere Street with his close friends, his brother said. He had recently moved into his mother's home in Oxnard.

The neighborhood where Robles was killed, near Daily Drive and Arneill Road, is a mix of duplexes and aging single-story homes.

Hanley said deputies are often called there to deal with complaints of loud parties and alcohol violations.

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