Two-year search for Visalia Ruiz Park shooter persists

Visalia Police Department partners with Fresno’s Valley Crime Stoppers to offer reward in juvenile homicide case

VISALIA – Two years ago, Justin Molina died following a shooting in Ruiz Park, and Visalia police have partnered with outside forces to bring the case to justice.

In their goal to close the case, the Visalia Police Department has joined forces with the Valley Crime Stoppers, a nonprofit organization based in Fresno. Valley Crimes Stoppers is offering a $3,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of those involved in the homicide.

The crime itself took place on Dec. 13, 2020. The Visalia Police Department was dispatched to Ruiz Park, in the area of 639 E. Buena Vista, following a shooting. Upon arrival, Molina was found suffering from a single gunshot wound. He was immediately taken to Kaweah Health Medical Center, where he died seven days later on Dec. 20.

The nature of the shooting was determined to have taken place during the course of a drug deal. The crime was investigated by violent crimes detectives with the Visalia Police Department.

Shortly after offering the reward last week, Visalia detectives received information on the type of vehicle that may have been seen fleeing the scene of the crime. The information was received on Feb. 2 from a Crime Stoppers reward flier regarding the homicide. According to the Visalia Police Department, the vehicle is depicted as a dark colored Chevy Tahoe with a possible year model between 2000 to 2005.

Anyone with information about the murder of Justin Molina is asked to contact Detective Max Navo at 559-713-4234, or Sergeant Nate Flaws at 559-713-4092 at the Visalia Police Department. People who would like to remain anonymous can instead contact the Visalia Police Department tip line at 559-713-4738. Additionally, residents can submit their anonymous tip through Valley Crime Stoppers at 559-498-STOP or

Valley Crime Stoppers is an organization that encourages members of the community to assist local law enforcement agencies in their fight against crime. According to the Crime Stoppers website, they do this by encouraging residents to overcome two elements that typically prevent community involvement, which are fear and apathy. Currently, the organization is in the process of garnering more community involvement from students and school districts to get word out about reporting crime anonymously.

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