Santa Paula Times

Men in violent confrontation were former roommates

June 27, 2012
Santa Paula News

Two men involved in a homicide-suicide near Santa Paula June17 were Mexican nationals who authorities said were once roommates.

The victim, Jose Ramirez Garcia, 22, of Santa Paula, lived at the East Telegraph Road property where the two men were involved in a deadly fight at about 10 a.m.

Garcia was first stabbed and then shot several times before the suspect, Tereso De Jesus Gutierrez, 24, fled the scene on foot. He died in a nearby trailer of a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head.

Apparently the men had been involved in a disagreement even when they lived in Mexico. Ventura County Sheriff’s investigators are still trying to determine when the two men were roommates.

Santa Paula Police were first on the scene after there were several 911 calls that a man had been stabbed and then shot several times in the 17000 block of East Telegraph Road near Whipple Road. When they arrived they found Garcia dead in the street. 

Witnesses said the gunman had run from the scene, around the corner and up Ferris Drive. A perimeter was set up, some households evacuated and an extensive search launched using K-9s and a Sheriff’s Department helicopter to ensure the suspect was not at large. 

Meanwhile other law enforcement personnel, including a SWAT Team, surrounded the trailer Gutierrez was reported to have entered. After trying to contact him for hours a robot was sent into the trailer. The robot sent back photos showing the feet of a man lying on the floor. When the SWAT Team entered they found Gutierrez dead on the floor from the self-inflicted gunshot wound.

Following the incident investigators had trouble identifying Garcia and Gutierrez because they had no valid forms of identification. Autopsies were performed on both men Monday, but authorities did not release their names or causes of death for several days pending confirmation of identity, the completion of death certificates, and notification of relatives.

Unconfirmed reports portray Gutierrez as a meat cutter at an area restaurant who had been deported several times, but returned illegally to the United States.

The short stretch where the incident occurred is just east of city limits in the unincorporated area between Santa Paula Creek Bridge and Hallock Road. The area is rural with a mixture of agriculture, houses, commercial businesses and trailers.