Man arrested for shooting into car in Visalia

Victor Manuel Lopez-Hernandez is arrested for allegedly shooting, killing man while stopped at traffic signal on Tuesday, Sept. 7

TULARE COUNTY – Sheriff deputies brought a man who shot into a car full of people to justice last week.

According to the Tulare County Sheriff’s Department, they arrested Victor Manuel Lopez-Hernandez, 20, from Tipton for allegedly shooting and killing Evone Vacio, 24. The Sheriff’s department stated that just after 5:30 p.m Tuesday, Sept. 7 deputies were called to the area of State Route 198 and Road 156 in Visalia, regarding a man who had been shot. When Deputies arrived on scene, they found Vacio had been shot multiple times. Vacio was taken to Kaweah Delta Medical Center where he later died.

Throughout their investigation, homicide detectives learned Vacio was stopped at a red light when the suspect pulled up beside him and began shooting into the vehicle. A pregnant woman and two small children were also in Vacio’s vehicle, but were not hurt.

Detectives identified Lopez-Hernandez, as the person responsible for the shooting. Around 9:30 p.m, detectives found Lopez-Hernandez and arrested him during a traffic stop in Tipton. At the time of the arrest, detectives found more evidence linking him to the crime.

This is still an active investigation. Anyone with information is encouraged to contact Detective Dave Gutierrez or Sergeant Bryan Clower with the Tulare County Sheriff’s Office Homicide Unit at 559-733-6218, or they can remain anonymous by calling or texting 559-725-4194 or through email at [email protected].

Sheriff’s Log

Thursday, Sept. 9 
At approximately 4:30 p.m. on Thursday, deputies were called to AJ’s Smoke Shop in the 32300 block of Road 160 in Ivanhoe, for an armed robbery. The suspect was later identified as Caleb Jones, 27, of Visalia. Deputies learned Jones walked into the smoke shop with a mask on, pulled out a handgun and demanded money from the register. Luckily no one was hurt. Deputies tracked Jones down at his home. But he ran off when they tried to arrest him. They eventually found him hiding under an overpass on Highway 198 with several grams of heroin. Evidence and statements also linked Jones to a previous robbery at the same business on Sept. 4. Jones was taken to the adult pretrial facility and booked for robbery, felony evading, resisting arrest and possession of a controlled substance.

Shortly after 10 a.m., deputies were called to a home in the 27400 block of Road 140 in Visalia for a shooting. During their investigation, deputies learned that Craig Forcum, 34, had fired several rounds at the home. No one was hurt. Deputies found Forcum and he led them on a short chase. Forcum rammed a deputy’s patrol vehicle while attempting to escape. He was arrested and found in possession of a loaded firearm.

Wednesday, Sept. 8
Shortly after 3 p.m. today, a TCSO K9 deputy along, with his K9 Dozer, stopped a car in the area of Highway 99 and Avenue 152 in Tipton for a traffic violation. K9 Dozer is a four-year-old Dutch Shepherd trained in detecting drugs. During the stop, Dozer detected drugs inside the vehicle. A search of the car turned up 65 pounds of methamphetamine. Deputies arrested Gregorio Rubalcaba, 23, from Lakewood, Calif. He faces charges of transportation of illegal narcotics and possession for sales. The drugs were turned over to the Tulare County Sheriff’s narcotic unit. Anyone with information is urged to contact Deputy J. Akin at the Tulare County Sheriff’s Office at 1-800-808-0488, or anonymously at [email protected], or by text or voicemail at 559-725-4194.

Tuesday, Sept. 7
Deputies were called to the 1300 block of Highway 65 in Richgrove for a stolen chain link fence and fence posts. The victim told deputies that 34 rolls of chain link were missing from their pallets and 50 fence posts were also taken, worth about $10,010. Shattered glass from the suspect’s vehicle was found at the scene. The chain link fence is approximately 5’6” in height, where chain link is typically made by the foot. Anyone with information is urged to contact deputy Joaquin Rodriguez or Sgt. Scott O’Neill at the Tulare County Sheriff’s Office at 1-800-808-0488, or anonymously at [email protected], or by text or voicemail at 559-725-4194.

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