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Gang, drug fights spurred Yuba City shooting death
Fist fights over drugs and street-gang membership last month during a Yuba City house party led to bursts of gunfire that left Michael L. Suarez dead and another injured, according to records obtained by the Appeal-Democrat.
Ruben Melesio Zamora, 32, was arrested on Tuesday and appeared briefly on Wednesday via video monitor in Sutter County Superior Court, but did not enter a plea. Zamora's attorney, Justin Scott, asked the court to continue the hearing to March 22.
He is charged with first-degree murder in the Feb. 23 shooting death of Suarez, 26 during a violent party at 157 Del Monte Ave.
"Ruben (Zamora) pointed (a gun) at Michael (Suarez) and began firing several times," the arrest warrant affidavit states. It states a friend of Suarez's eventually dragged him into the garage and held him while he died, the aff davit states.
However, it was Suarez who started shooting first, a short time earlier, hitting Zamora at least once in the leg, the affidavit states.
The house party turned violent around midnight after Zamora punched at least two people, the affidavit says. "Ruben (Zamora) told Isidro Ramirez "he was not pulling his weight in the gang." A short time later, Zamora punched Ramirez in the face outside the home, the affidavit states.
Later, Zamora punched Ivan Herrera inside the home for reasons that are not clear. Suarez became upset with Zamora for "knocking out a 'homie,'" records state.
"Michael (Suarez) pulled out a dark-colored semiautomatic handgun and pointed it at (Zamora) ... Michael (Suarez) fired two shots towards Ruben (Zamora) as he was running," the affidavit states.
Other men struggled with Suarez for control of the weapon, eventually taking it from him, according to the affidavit. However, Suarez went to his bedroom and returned with a "small machine gun or Tech 9-looking type of firearm." A second struggle ensued, but eventually Suarez "calmed down," the affidavit states.
Zamora retreated to a back bedroom where he was seen bleeding and talking about being shot. It's not clear how long Zamora remained in the bedroom. Some time later, Zamora, limping and bleeding, emerged from the room, charged down the hallway with a small caliber pistol in his left hand and shot and killed Suarez, the affidavit states.
The number of times Suarez was shot and location of his injuries are being withheld due to the ongoing police investigation.
Investigators described a grisly scene inside the home, with blood-stained carpets in many of the rooms and hallway and a floor littered with bullets, shell casings and beer bottles.
Yuba City police ask for help finding suspect
Yuba City police on Wednesday named of another man with suspected ties to last month's gang-related shooting death of Michael L. Suarez in Yuba City.
Officers are asking the public's help finding Carlos Antonio Rodriguez, 22, of Yuba City.
Suarez, 26, was shot and killed just after midnight Feb. 23 at his home at 157 Del Monte Ave.
Rodriguez, who goes by the street name of "Chubba," is wanted on suspicion of being an accessory to murder after the fact, Yuba City police spokeswoman Shawna Pavey said Wednesday. She declined to say what police believe Rodriguez's involvement may have been.
This is at least the second time in less than three years that Rodriguez has been identified as a suspect in connection with a Yuba City murder, according to Sutter County Superior Court records.
Rodriguez was charged with the Feb. 4, 2011, murder of Alfredo Martinez, 21, and the attempted murders of two other people in a car-to-car shooting. However, all charges were dismissed against Rodriguez in August 2011, due to insufficient evidence, according to court records.
Rodriguez is the fourth person police have identified as being a suspected accessory in Suarez's death.
Roberto Zamudio Urquidez, 54; Jedidiah Jose Salazar, 24; and Maria Christina Velasco, 22, have all been arrested and released pending further investigation.
CONTACT Rob Parsons at email@example.com or 749-4785. Find him on Facebook at /ADcrimebeat or on Twitter at @ADcrimebeat.