Leap day sees back-to-back shootings in Visalia

(Visalia Police Department)

Law enforcement responds to two early morning shootings at Jack’s Gas Station, Visalia residence

VISALIA – This year, leap day kicked off with an interesting jump in Visalia as officers responded to two separate shootings that occurred roughly thirty minutes apart from one another.

On Feb. 29 just after 1:30 a.m., VPD officers responded to a shooting that occurred at Jack’s Gas Station located at 1440 N. Dinuba Blvd. When officers arrived on scene, they found Albert Meek, 39, suffering from a gunshot wound.

The victim was transported to Kaweah Health where he was pronounced dead.

According to the latest reports from March 1, the suspect behind the crime has been apprehended following investigation. VPD’s Violent Crimes Unit led the investigation, with detectives working tirelessly throughout the morning and afternoon to identify and locate the suspect: a 17-year-old juvenile. The teenager was arrested during a traffic stop on Main Street in the city of Porterville.

The Visalia Police Department expressed a sincere thank you to the Porterville Police Department, Tulare County Sheriff’s Office and Dinuba Police Department for their invaluable assistance in locating and identifying the suspect.

This was not the only incident of shooting that occurred, however. Just thirty minutes before, sometime before 1 a.m., Visalia officers also responded to a home in the 2100 block of South Locust Street for the report of an assault with a deadly weapon involving a firearm. Officers arrived on scene and found the victim suffering from multiple gunshot wounds inside the residence.

The victim was transported to Kaweah Health and is in critical condition. The suspect fled the scene, discarded a firearm during the pursuit, and was later arrested. Zachery Ontiveros, 24, was booked at the Tulare County Adult Pre-Trial Facility for attempted murder.

The Violent Crimes Unit was called out to take over the investigation. Anyone with information is urged to contact Detective Max Navo at 559-713-4234. Those wishing to remain anonymous can contact the anonymous tip line at 559-713-4738.

Feb. 28

Around 11:15 p.m., Visalia officers responded to a single vehicle traffic accident on Noble Avenue, west of Ben Maddox Way. The driver was discovered to be pinned in the vehicle.

The Visalia Fire Department responded to the scene and extracted the driver, who was unfortunately confirmed deceased. The Visalia Police Department Traffic Unit responded to the scene to investigate the crash.

Feb. 27

The crime occurred less than two years ago on Oct. 31, 2022, when officers with the Visalia Police Department were called to the 1800 block of North Encina Street for a report of shots fired.

When officers arrived on scene, they found a man suffering from a gunshot wound. The victim ultimately died from his injuries.

Video surveillance cameras were located in the area of the shooting, which led to Detectives finding photographs of the suspects.

During the course of the investigation, 19-year-old Juan Bobadilla was identified as one of the suspects in the case. An arrest warrant was obtained for Bobadilla’s arrest.

This afternoon, detectives from the Violent Crimes Unit obtained information indicating that Bobadilla was residing at a residence in the City of Tulare.

Violent Crimes Detectives and members of the Special Enforcement Unit responded to the 200 block of South Los Angeles Street in the City of Tulare, where Bobadilla was taken into custody. Bobadilla was booked at the Tulare County Adult Pre-Trial Facility for Homicide.

This case is ongoing. Anyone with information is asked to contact Detective Kyle Kalender at 559-713-4156 or the anonymous tip line at 559-713-4738.

Feb. 24

Around 1 p.m. on Feb. 24, officers with the Visalia Police Department were called to the area of Mooney Boulevard and Whitendale Avenue for a multi-vehicle collision. At the scene of the accident, six vehicles were involved in the collision. Two drivers were taken to Kaweah Health for non-life threatening injuries.

Officers identified Shelby Oliver, 49, as the driver at fault. She was arrested at the scene for driving under the influence.

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