Reward offered in Circle 7 shooting

Detectives say shooter Lorenzo Pineda, 21, is still at large and is possibly armed

@TheSunGazette

VISALIA – Police are still looking for the prime suspect in an Aug. 2 shooting at Circle 7 liquor store and a reward is being offered to help track him down. Two suspects have already been arrested in connection with the shooting but the shooter, identified as 21-year-old Lorenzo Pineda, has yet to be found. Visalia Police Department detectives have received tips from the community about the whereabouts of Lorenzo Pineda but have been unable to locate him, which is why they are asking for the communities’ assistance.

Violent Crimes Unit detectives are asking for anyone who has information as to Lorenzo Pineda’s location to please contact Det. Mona Whaley at (559) 713-4211 or anonymous tips can be provided through Valley CrimeStoppers at (559) 498-STOP. A monetary reward is being offered by CrimeStoppers for information leading to his arrest.

The shooting happened just after 6 p.m. at the store, located at 2020 N. Dinuba Blvd. The victim, whose name has yet to be released, was involved in an argument at the liquor store with Lorenzo Pineda and Jorge Pineda, 23. During the argument, Lorenzo pulled out a handgun and shot multiple rounds at the victim outside the business, according to a released statement by the Visalia Police Department. Both suspects fled from the scene prior to officer’s arrival. The victim was transported to a local hospital where he is still listed in critical condition. The incident is believed to be gang related.

Members of the VPD’s Special Enforcement Unit, or gang unit, located the getaway vehicle at 1 p.m. later that day. SWAT Team members served a search warrant at the address in the 2300 block of N. Locust at 12:30 p.m. on Aug. 3. Neither suspect was located during the search but officers did recover evidence linking Lorenzo and Jorge to the shooting. Jorge was arrested on Aug. 8 and booked into Tulare County Jail for three counts of attempted homicide, gang enhancement and other charges.

On Aug. 15, the Tulare County District Attorney’s Office issued a warrant for Lorenzo Pineda’s arrest for three counts of attempted homicide, gang enhancement, and other related charges. Currently, detectives have been unable to locate Lorenzo. No description of Lorenzo was provided but VPD did say he is known to frequent the City of Visalia and several surrounding communities. The gun used in this shooting has not been located so Lorenzo is considered armed and dangerous.

Detectives were able to arrest the man believed to be helping Lorenzo evade capture. The investigation identified 23-year-old Fermin Ruiz Rosales as a suspect for aiding and assisting Lorenzo after the crime. At 9 a.m. on Aug. 16, officers with the gang unit arrested Rosales at his home in the 2300 block of N. Locust St. without incident. He was interviewed and later booked at the Tulare County Jail.

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