Santa Paula Times

SPPD investigating shooting death of Alaniz; witnesses interviewed, sought

September 17, 2010
Santa Paula Police Department

Santa Paula Police have been interviewing witnesses and developing leads in the shooting death Monday afternoon of a Santa Paula man who was gunned down behind an apartment complex in South Alley.

Isidro Alaniz, 28, was fatally shot shortly before 1 p.m. in the alley between 7th and 8th streets, just south of Main Street and north of Yale Street.

According to SPPD Sergeant Ishmael Cordero, Alaniz and his friend Christina Guzman “had arrived at a nearby residence to visit. Guzman went inside the residence and Alaniz waited outside, talking to other persons that were present at the rear of the residence.”

Cordero said based on what witnesses stated they heard, “Alaniz may have been involved in some type of argument with one of the unknown persons that were present” and then shots rang out, striking Alaniz several times in the upper body. SPPD officers who arrived at the scene applied CPR until Santa Paula Fire EMTs took over and tried life-saving methods, but paramedics declared Alaniz dead on the scene.

Cordero said those present with Alaniz at the time of the shooting “have been identified, and SPPD detectives have interviewed some” and are in the process of locating others to interview them.

People were observed leaving the scene on foot and by car: witnesses told police they saw someone running south in an alley to Yale Street. The person was wearing a white T-shirt, blue jeans, and sunglasses and had a shaved head. He was last seen in the area of Eighth and Yale streets. A white pickup truck was also reported leaving the area after the shooting.

Early on after the shooting, relatives of Alaniz gathered behind the police crime scene tape as police officers dropped yellow evidence markers in the alley. Another officer stood guard over an area where it was believed the gunman might have dropped or thrown something.

After an autopsy the Ventura County Medical Examiner’s Office reported Alaniz died from multiple gunshots to his torso.

According to court records, Alaniz had 10 criminal convictions in Ventura County between 2000 and 2008, mostly for misdemeanor drug offenses. A felony drug possession conviction was the most serious charge, according to court records.

“He had problems,” with narcotics, said an officer who was familiar with Alaniz, “but he was a nice enough guy... always respectful and pleasant. You never saw him angry.”

It is not believed the shooting was gang related. SPPD Lieutenant Carlos Juarez said Thursday investigators “have gotten a lot of good leads,” although detectives are still trying to determine if an argument led up to the shooting.

Alaniz’s homicide was the first in Santa Paula since March 2008, when a man was shot and later died following a family gathering that turned confrontational. No charges were filed by the District Attorney’s Office, as the suspects said the shooting was in self-defense. It was the only violent death in the city during 2008.

Alaniz’s homicide was the second shooting in Santa Paula that occurred within two days. On September 12, Sunday evening shortly after 9 p.m., two men aged 19 and 20 were shot in the 100 block of East Santa Ana Street while gathered with friends at an apartment complex. One man was shot in the abdomen and the other in the leg; both of those victims were taken to Ventura County Medical Center and are expected to recover.

Police asked anyone with information about Alaniz’s homicide and the earlier shooting to call Sergeant Ishmael Cordero at 525-4474, or contact Ventura County Crime Stoppers anonymously at 800-222-TIPS. Ventura County Crime Stoppers can also be contacted by texting “Busted” plus your message to CRIMES (274637).

Crime Stopper Tips can also be sent via the website, If the information received leads to an arrest, the tipster could receive a $1,000 reward.